The guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd returned to Naval Base San Diego to provide medical treatment for sailors and to disinfect the ship, which has been at sea participating in counter-narcotics operations, according to Commander, Naval Surface Forces Vice Adm. Richard Brown.
As of Tuesday, 64 sailors on guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG-100) have tested positive for the virus, with 63 percent of the crew tested, according to a statement released by the Navy.
Sailors began to show symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI) during the maneuvers in the SOUTHCOM area of responsibility. The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island was redirected to rendezvous with the Kidd, where eight medical personnel arrived on board with an Abbott machine to begin testing the crew for COVID-19. One Sailor was medevaced to the United States for treatment.
“San Diego may not be USS Kidd’s home port, but we are definitely being made to feel at home,” said the ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Nathan Wemett. USS Kidd is based out of Naval Station Everett, Washington.
“The Navy pulled out all the stops – specialist doctors have already arrived from the United States to test and help care for our shipmates,” said USS Kidd’s executive officer, Cmdr. Matt Noland in a letter released via social media.
All Sailors will be isolated off-ship with twice-daily medical screenings and crew members who have tested negative will enter quarantine for a period of observation, to include daily visits from military health professionals to monitor for symptoms, according to Cmdr. Noland.
While in port, the ship will undergo a strategic deep-cleaning regimen that balances decontamination with preventing damage to the ship’s critical systems. As the ship is cleaned and disinfected room by room, the cleaning process is expected to take up to two weeks. At this time healthy Sailors will return to duty, while off-going Sailors will begin their quarantine.
As the intensive cleaning operation is underway, the crew of the USS Kidd will continue to battle the pandemic and return to its mission as soon as possible.
USS Kidd (DDG-100) destroyer is the third ship of the United States Navy to be named after Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who died on the bridge of his flagship USS Arizona during the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Cmdr. Nathan Wemett stated, “I am personally grateful to know that we have such a strong bond with our Navy communities. It’s the strength of those bonds that helps us work together in challenging situations.”