Navy leaders closed a schoolhouse on Naval Base San Diego on Saturday after three sailors tested positive for the new coronavirus, officials announced Tuesday.
Medical investigators have linked all three cases to the schoolhouse, which is why it’s closed indefinitely.
On March 14, a sailor from the amphibious warship Boxer who was attending a course at Training Support Command tested positive for COVID-19, according to a prepared statement issued by Naval Education and Training Command.
He had been a student there since Feb. 6. He’s isolated at home, with his movement restricted, as are those who came into close contact with him, officials said.
The other two cases involve an instructor at the training center and an enlisted sailor assigned to Naval Base Point Loma who was a student in a course there.
The latter sailor showed no signs of the illness but was tested because of potential exposure at the schoolhouse and the results were positive for COVID-19.
The three sailors and all others who came into contact with them have been ordered to remain in their residences or quarters.
Although known for the warships that line its piers, Naval Base San Diego is also a major training site. Training Support Center San Diego, for example, is the central hub of support for Naval Education and Training Command efforts across the entire Pacific Rim, including instruction for surface warfare, submarine, security force, naval aviation and information warfare students.
“We’re taking the proper precautions,” said Pensacola-based Naval Education and Training Command spokesman Cmdr. James D. Stockman. “Anyone who tests positive, or who might have been exposed to someone with the virus, is in self-quarantine, with movement restrictions. We’re following the guidance and policy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
It remains unclear whether the entire support center is closing or if only selected portions of the program overseen by Naval Education and Training Command are suspended.
Stockman said that the order did not affect medical units, Naval Special Warfare or other commands in the region.
This is a breaking story and we’ll keep updating it.
Prine came to Navy Times after stints at the San Diego Union-Tribune and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors and the Combat Infantryman Badge.