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.

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