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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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The guided missile destroyer USS Kidd. Photo: Getty Images

The number of sailors aboard the USS Kidd to test positive for the novel coronavirus has risen to 33, the U.S. Navy said in a statement on Saturday.

Why it matters: The second major COVID-19 outbreak on a U.S. naval vessel forced the ship to port so it could be cleaned and disinfected. In late March, the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt moved 2,700 members offshore as hundreds of crew members tested positive for the coronavirus.

  • The Navy learned of the outbreak on the USS Kidd after a sailor needed to be medically evacuated to a treatment facility in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday, where he tested positive for COVID-19, the Navy said in a statement Friday, when it reported 18 cases.

What they're saying: "Two Sailors have been medically evacuated to the United States," the Saturday statement said. "Sailors aboard Kidd are wearing PPE and N95 masks."

  • Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson said in Friday's statement the first patient transported was "already improving and will self-isolate."
  • "We are taking every precaution to ensure we identify, isolate, and prevent any further spread onboard the ship," Gabrielson added. "Our medical team continues coordinating with the ship and our focus is the safety and well-being of every Sailor."

The big picture: The Navy said it expects the number of USS Kidd cases to rise as testing continues. The ship's crew consists of about 350 sailors, according to ABC News.

  • The USS Kidd has been operating off the Pacific coast of Central America as part of a U.S. counter-drug mission, according to the New York Times.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the Navy's latest statement.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Fauci: Schools can reopen with safeguards, but those in virus hot spots shouldn't

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at Capitol Hill in July. Photo Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Monday schools and colleges should be able to reopen for in-person classes, but they must take precautions to ensure the safety of students and teachers during the pandemic, per CNN.

Of note: Students benefit psychologically from being in a classroom, Fauci said. The American Academy of Pediatrics has advocated for in-person classes resuming, noting in a statement the mental health benefits of doing so. "[T]here is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020."

Trump: Coronavirus is "under control"

President Trump said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that he thinks the coronavirus is as well-controlled in the U.S. as it can be, despite dramatic surges in new infections over the course of the summer and more than 150,000 American deaths.

  • “They are dying, that's true. And you have — it is what it is. But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague,” he told Axios' Jonathan Swan.