The U.S. Navy appears to be taking extra precautions on its ships amid the coronavirus pandemic and has quarantined the crew of the USS Nimitz for 27 days before its Tuesday departure.
The additional preventative measures are double the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control, which recommends quarantining for at least two weeks to avoid contracting the virus or passing it on to another person.
“Dealing with the challenges of the COVID pandemic has been difficult, so I’m very pleased that our mitigation efforts have put us in a position to get underway,” Capt. Max Clark said in a press release ahead of the ship’s deployment.
Every crew member on the 5,000-person aircraft carrier has been tested for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, officials said.
“I give the crew all the credit. From the beginning, they have done all that I and Navy leadership have asked them to do — face coverings, social distancing, continuous ship sanitization, testing and periods of quarantine; all executed with precision and professionalism,” Capt. Clark said.
The USS Nimitz’s deployment comes as two U.S. Navy ships are battling outbreaks of coronavirus among their crew members.
At least 955 members of the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the virus, and one has died, while 47 members of the USS Kidd have tested positive.
Pentagon leadership has come under fire in recent days for what lawmakers claim to be a “slow response” to mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.
But the USS Nimitz is “taking advantage of lessons learned” in an effort to prevent a similar fate at sea.
“Without [the crew’s] hard work and personal sacrifices, getting this warship out to sea would not have been possible,” Capt. Clark said. “And I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge our Navy families that serve as our bedrock of support.”