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Navy closes San Diego Training Support Center after instructor, 2 students test positive for COVID-19

Medical professionals take oral swabs to test for COVID-19 infections in New Rochelle, New York, March 14, 2020. Drive-thru sample collection sites have been set up as part of New York’s response to COVID-19. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Sean Madden)

The Navy is closing Training Support Center San Diego after three sailors there — an instructor and two students — tested positive for COVID-19, according to an announcement Tuesday.

Two sailor cases have already been reported as a Naval Base San Diego sailor on Saturday and a Naval Base Point Loma sailor on Monday. Both are affiliated with the schoolhouse, according to Cmdr. James Stockman, a Naval Education and Training Command spokesman. The first is an instructor and the second a student, he told the Union-Tribune when reached by phone Tuesday.

The third sailor, who was attending class at the schoolhouse, is assigned to the amphibious assault ship Essex in San Diego.

Although the sailor tested positive Saturday, the Navy announced the case Tuesday, a delay of three days.

Stockman said the delay was necessary for the service to collect the “necessary information,” but did not comment on why other cases have so far been reported within 24 hours of positive tests.

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The sailor is “isolated at home and restricted in movement,” the Navy’s statement says. As with other cases, the military is conducting a contact investigation to identify other personnel who might have come into contact with the sailor.

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© 2020 The San Diego Union-Tribune