At least two sailors who helped fight the fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego have tested positive for coronavirus and another 27 have been quarantined.
Sailors stationed on the USS San Diego told the Union-Tribune that at least five of them have tested positive, but the U.S. Navy only confirmed two on Friday.
“The Navy continues to implement COVID-19 mitigation measures to protect the health of our force,” Lt. Cmdr. Nicole Schwegman, a Navy spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Those who came into close contact with the two sailors have been placed in “ROM,” or restriction of movement.
One sailor described the “chaotic” battle to put out the fire on the Bonhomme Richard, which burned for more than five days. Slim pickings on equipment meant the sailors were often forced to swap and share masks and gloves, according to the Union-Tribune.
Hundreds of sailors were deployed to fight the Bonhomme Richard fire, which was finally extinguished Thursday.
Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations, said Friday that it’s still unclear if it’s worth trying to rebuild the ship or if the damage is too great.
“There’s obviously electrical damage to the ship, there’s structural damage to the ship and mechanical damage of the ship that we need to assess in much more detail before we make a final determination of next steps,” he said during a press conference.
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