Coast Guard Cutter Returns Home After Crew Tests Positive for COVID-19
A U.S. Coast Guard cutter's patrol in the Eastern Pacific has been cut short following a coronavirus outbreak on board, the Coast Guard said Wednesday.
Legend-class cutter Stratton (WMSL-752) returned to its homeport Wednesday at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif. after 11 crew members tested positive for COVID-19 during the deployment.
The affected crew members reported mild symptoms and are receiving medical care.
The cutter was met by Coast Guard medical staff, who conducted testing of the entire crew. Following testing, the crew went into quarantine, and the cutter will continue to meet all inport watchstanding requirements while at homeport.
"The crew's health and safety is my highest priority," said Capt. Bob Little, Stratton's commanding officer. "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."
The Stratton departed Alameda October 28 to begin a counter-narcotics patrol in the Eastern Pacific. Prior to getting underway, the crew underwent a restriction-of-movement period where members were required to self-quarantine and pass two COVID-19 tests.
On November 11 and November 12, several crew members began to develop coronavirus symptoms and were administered rapid testing kits. All affected personnel and close contacts were identified and quarantined.
“The safety of our people and the public remain my top priority,” said Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area commander. “We continue to perform all statutory missions while taking the necessary precautions to protect our members and the public. We are committed to maintaining our operational readiness and will continue to perform critical missions that protect our national interests, promote economic prosperity and ensure public safety.”