There is an outbreak of COVID-19 onboard HMCS Winnipeg which is currently at sea conducting readiness training.
Royal Canadian Navy spokesman Lt.-Cmdr. Tony Wright confirmed information passed to this newspaper by various military sources. “As of May 12, 2022, there are seven positive COVID-19 cases onboard Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Winnipeg which is currently at sea conducting readiness training,” he noted in an email.
Wright said sailors have been told if they feel unwell they must inform the ship’s medical team to receive a rapid antigen detection test. Masks are also available to the crew if they want.
“Finally, the onboard Physician’s Assistant is actively monitoring the ship’s efforts at cleaning and sanitizing high-traffic areas to protect our sailors at sea,” Wright added.
The Royal Canadian Navy did not say how many crew are on board. However, the Halifax-class frigate usually has a crew of about 225 including aircrew.
Every member of the ship’s company is vaccinated, Wright noted.
The warship is based out of Esquimalt, BC.
Once HMCS Winnipeg returns to Esquimalt, the ship’s company will follow British Columbia public health direction on mitigating the spread of COVID-19, said Wright. Sailors who have tested positive for COVID-19 will self-isolate in their homes for seven days following onset of their symptoms. Any sailors who demonstrate symptoms will not be required to report to work, and shall seek advice for testing at Canadian Forces Health Services Centre Esquimalt, he added.
The ship will return to CFB Esquimalt Thursday night.