1 COVID-19 case confirmed on HMCS Fredericton

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HMCS Fredericton left Halifax on July 24 and is expected to return from its journey into North Atlantic and European waters around Christmas.  (Brett Ruskin/CBC - image credit)
HMCS Fredericton left Halifax on July 24 and is expected to return from its journey into North Atlantic and European waters around Christmas. (Brett Ruskin/CBC - image credit)

One person on board HMCS Fredericton is now in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, but no other cases have been detected on the ship, according to a letter sent Sunday to friends and family of sailors.

The notice said the man was tested after he woke up with symptoms and then medical staff tested everyone else on board the frigate.

"At this point, it appears that the vaccines are working to prevent shipboard spread," it said.

As a result of the positive case, the crew must now remain masked except when eating, drinking or sleeping, and the number of people who can gather to eat at one time has been limited.

2 more rounds of testing

The notice said the entire crew will be tested again Wednesday and Sunday.

Capt. Gregory Cutten, a spokesperson for the Canadian Armed Forces, told CBC News in a statement that as of Monday afternoon, no other crew had tested positive or displayed any symptoms of COVID-19.

Cutten said the positive case was not expected to alter HMCS Fredericton's plans.

HMCS Fredericton left Halifax on July 24 for a nearly six-month deployment into North Atlantic and European waters to assist with NATO exercises as part of Operation Reassurance. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, family and friends weren't allowed to send off the crew in person.

COVID possibly contracted in Estonia

Cutten said the ship has been to a few ports since departing Halifax last month. He said it's possible the member contracted COVID-19 during a stop in Tallinn, Estonia, between Aug. 14 and 16.

Earlier in July, HMCS Halifax returned to port in Halifax after participating in the same mission and two crew members tested positive for COVID-19, which postponed the reunions between sailors and their loved ones. The two people who contracted COVID-19 had to self-isolate for two weeks in military housing at Canadian Forces Base Halifax.

The is HMCS Fredericton's first mission since it returned to port nearly one year ago after a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of six crew members.

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