Nearly two dozen sailors aboard aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt test positive for coronavirus, forcing the warship to dock in Guam to test all 5,000 on board
- 23 sailors on board the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for the new coronavirus from Thursday
- Three cases were reported on Tuesday, and the number rose to eight on Wednesday
- The warship with approximately 5,000 ships will be dumped in Guam and will be tested on board
- The ship currently has about 800 COVID-19 tests and more are being flown in
- This is the first time that coronavirus has appeared on an deployed warship
- The ship was parked in Vietnam two weeks ago and could have contracted a disease there
- In total, 280 US service members tested positive for the virus
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
At least 23 sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for the new coronavirus, forcing the warship to port Guam to test all 5,000 on board.
On Tuesday, three sailors tested positive for COVID-19. By Wednesday, that number had risen to eight and half of those infected were flown to a military medical facility in Guam, the Navy said.
By Thursday, the number of infected had risen to about two dozen.
Despite the outbreak, the carrier will continue to operate, said Admiral Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations.
“We found a few more suitcases on board. We are now testing 100 percent of that ship’s crew to make sure we can accommodate the spread that occurred there, ‘said Modly Thursday of the Pengaton.
At least 23 sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for the new coronavirus, forcing the warship to Guam port to test all 5,000 passengers on board. The USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71 shown above in a stock image
The ship will dock in Guam to test all 5,000 sailors on board as a result of an outbreak
The ship is currently entering Guam, where all sailors on board are being tested.
Once in port, the crew is not allowed to leave the carrier.
There are currently 800 COVID-19 test kits on board and more are being flown in.
Sailors who have tested positive have been quarantined, and those who come into contact with the infected are also quarantined.
The disease can be catastrophic for the Nimitz class, as sailors live close by.
The infections on USS Roosevelt mark the first time that soldiers aboard a deployed military vessel have tested positive for the virus.
Still, the Navy is determined to keep the warship running.
“This is an example of our ability to keep our ships deployed at sea, even with active COVID-19 cases,” Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said Wednesday.
“Our ships are sailing, our planes are flying, and training continues to protect our US national interests and those of all our allies and partners around the world,” he added.
The sailors on the ship had visited the city of Da Nang in Vietnam during a port visit more than two weeks ago. Navy officers believe the sailors could have contracted the virus there.
Modly said the sailors could have contracted the virus from other sources, such as flight crew members of an airplane visiting the airline.
Sailors prepare surgical equipment to be sterilized aboard Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy on March 25
The USS Theodore Roosevelt was deployed to the Western Pacific from San Diego in January and made a port visit in Da Nang, Vietnam on March 5.
At that time, the number of cases in the country was low, and they were all located in the north of the country, away from the port.
“At the time, there were only 16 positive cases in Vietnam, which are far to the north, all isolated in Hanoi,” Gilday said.
Adm. Aquilino was one of the crew members who met the Roosevelt in Vietnam earlier this month. He says that neither he nor his employees have shown symptoms related to the virus.
“I feel 100 percent okay,” Aquilino said on Wednesday, noting that he was not considering testing. “My health is no different from anyone else’s.”
The USS Roosevelt is not the only part of the military affected by the coronavirus crisis.
In total, 280 US service members tested positive for the virus.
“Our curve doesn’t flatten,” said Air Force Brig. General Paul Friedrichs, the surgeon of the joint staff, said in a news conference on Wednesday.
Tests for COVID-19 are conducted on the attack ship USS America, the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge, while the Navy increases its test capability.