The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has kept its ships COVID free while continuing to conduct operations at home and abroad by introducing new procedures on ships and bases since the beginning of the pandemic.
Close collaboration with Canadian Forces Health Services, regional Surgeon’s offices and health authorities played a significant role in developing the RCN’s COVID policies and facilitated COVID testing in order to get our ships to sea.
Increased cleaning routines, personal hygiene, quarantining before embarking on a ship and testing for COVID are the main precautionary measures that are maintaining a COVID-free ‘bubble’ and allow for normal socialization while on board ships.
“This approach is allowing us, as a maritime force including our CH-148 Cyclone helicopters, to have unimpeded operational availability in response to requirements at home and overseas,” said Vice-Admiral (VAdm) Art McDonald, Commander RCN.
To date there has been no significant operational impact caused by COVID to any deployed ship, though there have been many changes in the way we operate at sea and while alongside in foreign ports. While ships that aren’t refueling at sea are still coming alongside in foreign ports for fuel and stores, the crews maintain a COVID-free bubble by strictly complying with public health measures.
Since the pandemic began the RCN has deployed approximately 2,750 sailors on 13 ships for more than 800 days at sea on international and domestic operations…