The US Navy has ordered all ships that have visited countries in the Pacific region to effectively self-quarantine and remain at sea for 14 days in order to monitor sailors for any symptoms of coronavirus.
“Out of an abundance of caution, Pacific Fleet is implementing additional mitigations to prevent Sailors from contracting COVID-19, and to monitor Sailors who have traveled to higher-risk areas,” US Navy spokesman Lt. James Adams told CNN, using the official name for the virus.
No evidence of cases: The spokesman said that “at this time, there are no indications that any US Navy personnel have contracted” the coronavirus but said the Navy was acting out of an abundance of caution.
Remain at sea: The commander of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet, Adm. John Aquilino, issued guidance instructing Navy vessels departing from countries in the region “to remain at sea for at least 14 days before pulling into another port, in order to monitor sailors for any symptoms of the virus.”
The self-quarantine is only the latest step the Pentagon has taken to protect its service members from the virus
Military drills cancelled: An upcoming military exercise with South Korea was suspended due to concerns about the virus.
Travel restrictions: The US military’s Indo-Pacific Command, which oversees all US troops in the region, restricted all non-essential travel to South Korea for all US service members, contractors and defense department civilians serving as part of the command.
Military bases: On US military bases in Italy, access to on-base schools, child-care facilities, gyms and other public buildings has been temporarily halted and troops are bracing for the possibility of similar restrictions on other bases in Europe.