USS Milwaukee Remains Stranded in Guantánamo Bay Amid COVID Outbreak

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Courtesy of The U.S. National Archives (CC0)

A United States Navy ship was forced to remain docked in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, because of a COVID-19 outbreak. The ship’s complement of sailors are 100% vaccinated, reports Navy officials. Only some of the infected crew members were experiencing mild symptoms.

The USS Milwaukee, a small service vessel, will extend its refueling and resupply stop as the sailors complete the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) prescribed isolation. “The ship is following an aggressive mitigation strategy” in dealing with the COVID infections. The Navy further explained that the COVID “vaccine continues to demonstrate effectiveness against serious illness” among the crew.

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Courtesy of U.S. Pacific Fleet (Flickr CC0)

There was an open-air Christmas service on the pier allowing them to celebrate while remaining socially distanced and following CDC public guidelines. The sailors are taking advantage of open space and fresh air to keep activities safe, said Commander Kate Meadows, a Navy spokesperson. She added the ship’s chefs are whipping up a special holiday meal for everyone.

USS Milwaukee’s crew has been confined to the pier, nor have the sailors entered the base since arriving in Guantánamo Bay. The intent is to spare the community the chance of being exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

Many of the crew are on their first deployment and are eager to finish the course of COVID-related isolation so they can continue on their adventure of seeing the world and accomplishing their missions.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

The New York Times: A U.S. Navy combat ship is stranded in Guantánamo Bay with a virus outbreak. By Carol Rosenberg and Aishvarya Kavi
Statesville Record & Landmark: US Navy warship sidelined with COVID-19 outbreak; by Lolita C. Baldor

Featured and Top Image by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wesley Richardson Courtesy of U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by PH1 D.E. Erickson Courtesy of The U.S. National Archives – Creative Commons License

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