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NEWS | July 31, 2020

MARMC SST Advances OSD Grasp of COVID Risk

By Hendrick Dickson, MARMC Public Affairs Specialist

Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) participated in the Navy-wide Sentinel Surveillance Testing (SST) program July 29, with 50 asymptomatic Sailors and civilian employees volunteering to be tested for COVID-19.

The program is part of a larger Office of the Secretary of Defense effort to help provide better insight into potential COVID risk to the Department of the Defense workforce.

The SST program enables the Navy to broadly test and detect asymptomatic COVID-positive individuals; assist in bounding the outbreak and detect any potential second wave or resurgence of the disease early.

“MARMC was selected by Naval Sea Systems Command to participate in this program,” said MARMC Executive Director Dennis Bevington. “The goal is to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 across the force and ultimately create a COVID free bubble around units prior to and while deployed.”

More than 2,700 Sailors and civilian employees work at MARMC, leading Navy ship repair in the Mid-Atlantic region and supporting more than 70 ships operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf.

“MARMC maintains a far-reaching footprint in the fleet – aboard ships and in the ship repair facilities throughout Hampton Roads,” said MARMC Commanding Officer Capt. Tim Barney. “The nation is entering a crucial phase in our battle against the virus, and asymptomatic spread could be a real threat to our mission. If we are to win this battle, we are going to have to remain proactive and vigilant.”

SST testing and reporting is conducted in two-week increments. MARMC will test another 75 personnel beginning Aug. 6. The tests were administered by a Hospital Corpsman assigned to MARMC’s dive locker and sent to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth; who will notify volunteers and the chain of command of their test results.

MARMC provides surface ship maintenance, management and oversight of private sector maintenance and fleet technical assistance to ships in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and provides support to the 5th and 6th Fleet Area of Responsibilities. They are also responsible for the floating dry-dock Dynamic (AFDL-6).