25 June 2020
by Michael Fabey
Thanks to increased Covid-19 testing capacity, the US Navy (USN) has developed a surveillance-testing programme meant to create virus-free deployments and other operations by minimising Covid-19 transmission across the force, USN officials said in a 25 June statement.
The goal, USN officials said, is to ultimately create a virus-free bubble around units prior to their deployments and while they are deployed.
To accomplish this goal, the USN established Sentinel Surveillance Testing (SST) to test asymptomatic service members, which will help the service to detect those members who are Covid-19 positive.
This will help the USN in preventing outbreaks and it will also make it easier for the service to detect any potential second wave or resurgence of the disease.
The worse USN outbreak thus far occurred aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), where the USN reported 1,273 Covid-19 positive cases associated with the ship.
The US Navy has started a new testing programme meant to help prevent Covid-19 outbreaks like the one that sidelined aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). (US Navy)
The navy will conduct testing and collect reports in two-week increments. The first phase of SST started on 25 June, the USN reported.
Previously, the service’s preventative efforts were primarily focused on maintaining virus-free deployable units. There is now sufficient testing capacity to expand those efforts more broadly across the navy, USN officials said.
Rear Admiral Karl Thomas, assistant deputy chief of naval operations for Operations, Plans, and Strategy, said the new programme will help service leaders understand transmission patterns to adjust processes and measures when and where needed.
Thanks to increased Covid-19 testing capacity, the US Navy (USN) has developed a surveillance-testin...