The US Navy did not fully implement measures to reduce the risk of the novel coronavirus spreading in two of its ships, according to a Department of Defense report Tuesday.
Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and destroyer USS Kidd were the only Navy warships that had COVID-19 outbreak at sea in the Pacific Ocean, and they both had the highest number of cases given their crew size, the report said.
Officers of USS Theodore Roosevelt did not effectively implement measures for the crew and they allowed social gathering areas to remain open, it added.
“Furthermore, the USS Theodore Roosevelt leadership decided to prematurely release sailors from quarantine because conditions in quarantine were crowded, and they believed that the quarantine caused more sailors to become infected,” the report said.
It stressed that infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, can spread quickly on warships and submarines, which negatively impacts the readiness of naval forces.
The Defense Department noted it received $10.5 billion to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19 domestically and internationally as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) enacted on March 27, 2020.
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