The Royal Navy published a video, with Royal Navy First Sea Lord Adm. Tony Radakin informing about the Royal Navy’s sailors, marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel, civil servants and contractors - covers the need for the service to support onshore relief efforts, maintain warfighting readiness and carry out operational tasking at the same time. Adm. Radakin noted a newly-implemented set of policies to help sailors who are scheduled to leave the service to remain within the Royal Navy and to continue assisting the response.
In addition, the US Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Robert Burke issued a statement, asking sailors, officers and commanders to maintain trust with each other and to act with flexibility to minimize the risk of COVID-19.
He highlighted that the Navy will continue its operations in support of national security objectives.
Adm. Burke commented that
There are times that you may need to go to an installation commander for places to house your sailors because you cannot effectively isolate your personnel. There are times when they may not be able to help. We want these decisions to be fact-based, and not emotionally-driven.
Adm. Burke emphasized that commanders must sustain trust within their units and within the Navy as a whole, without othering elements of the service using language like "they" or "them."
He also shared the current best-available knowledge about COVID-19 and its prevention:
- It is transmitted by respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes.
- It can remain airborne for short periods of time (there is debate surrounding the duration)
- Respiratory droplets can settle on horizontal surfaces.
- Untreated virus levels can be detected up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel.
- A strong disinfectant (like bleach) is required to clean infected surfaces. Medical laboratory-grade ultraviolet lights are also successful.
- It can be transmitted by an infected person before tests will detect it.
- Many young, healthy people may contract it without knowing and without showing symptoms, and they may still spread it.