EVERETT — The USS Kidd is scheduled to return to its home port of Naval Station Everett in August, the ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Nathan Wemett, said in a phone call with reporters Thursday.
COVID-19 spread through the ship last month during deployment in an operation to stop drug trafficking near South America. The Kidd had been at sea since January.
Of the ship’s roughly 300-member crew, nearly 80 sailors have tested positive for the disease, Wemett said.
It’s not clear how the outbreak started.
“We’ve attempted to do contact tracing,” he said. “But because of the large number of folks we have with the small quarters that we were in, there’s no real way to determine who the infection started with.”
The Kidd is now docked in San Diego. It arrived April 28, and since then, sailors have been quarantined, the ship has been cleaned and all aboard have been tested multiple times. Anyone who returns to the ship must receive two negative test results, Navy officials have said.
The Kidd is expected to stay in California for at least two more weeks before shipping out.
The Kidd was the second Navy warship to experience a COVID-19 outbreak while at sea.
More than 1,000 sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier with a crew of almost 5,000, tested positive for the coronavirus. One of those sailors died.
The carrier docked in Guam on March 27 to fight the outbreak. It continued deployment Tuesday in the Philippine Sea.