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San Diego Navy bases begin new screening and sanitation measures over coronavirus

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 9, leaves North Island Naval Air Station for a regularly scheduled deployment. (Howard Lipin/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)

San Diego-area Navy bases are implementing more stringent screening and cleaning measures after a Naval Base San Diego sailor tested positive for COVID-19.

The new measures are meant to protect “the health and well-being” of San Diego-area Navy personnel, according to a statement from Navy Region Southwest, which is headquartered in San Diego and oversees naval installations in California and five other states.

“Navy Region Southwest is working closely with our partners in state and local public health departments and following all guidance from the Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect Navy personnel and visitors to our installations,” according to the statement.

Area naval bases will screen base visitors and travelers at base air terminals with health questionnaires and provide cleaning products and hand sanitizers to high-traffic areas, according to the statement.

Navy Region Southwest, led by Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, is also directing naval commands to identify areas in their work spaces where employees who fall ill can be isolated if symptoms develop at work. Bolivar is directing unit commanders to ensure personnel diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19 isolate themselves in accordance with CDC guidelines.

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Naval personnel who feel ill should stay at home and self-isolate if they feel ill, the statement says. Those who feel they need medical attention are asked to notify their medical clinics before coming in.

Service members using Tricare are asked to call Tricare’s COVID-19 hotline at (800) TRICARE.

Navy leaders will continue to monitor the situation, the statement says, and are ready to order stricter measures “as needed.”

The announcement comes one day after the Marine Corps said it was also beefing up precautionary measures at its installations to prevent the further spread of the virus.

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© 2020 The San Diego Union-Tribune

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.