A U.S. Coast Guard vessel on a counter-narcotics patrol was forced to return to its base in California on Wednesday, after 11 crew members tested positive for COVID-19.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton set out from its homeport in Alameda on Oct. 28 to begin a counter-narcotics patrol in the Eastern Pacific. Prior to departure, the crew was required to self-quarantine and test negative for COVID-19 twice, according to a press release from the Coast Guard.
Last week, several crew members began to develop mild COVID-19 symptoms and were administered rapid testing kits on board. All affected personnel and their close contacts were identified and quarantined, according to the press release.
Coast Guard medical staff conducted testing of the ship’s entire crew, who then went into quarantine. The infected crew members are receiving medical care, according to the press release.
“The crew’s health and safety is my highest priority,” Stratton’s commanding officer, Capt. Bob Little, said in a statement Wednesday. “Stratton has a highly resilient crew, always dedicated to the mission. Our mission today is to get healthy so we can continue our service to the nation.”