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Carrier USS Roosevelt Docks in Guam Due to COVID-19 Cases

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The carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (USN file image)

By The Maritime Executive 03-26-2020 01:57:00

The U.S. Navy is pausing the operations of the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and bringing her in to Guam after at least five more sailors on board tested positive for COVID-19. The test results are in addition to three cases announced earlier this week, bringing the total to eight. 

The Wall Street Journal has independently reported that at least 23 individuals on board the USS Roosevelt have tested positive.  

“We are in the process now of testing 100 percent of the crew of that ship to ensure that we were able to contain whatever spread might have occurred there on the ship,” Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said in a briefing Thursday. “But I also want to emphasize that the ship is operationally capable and can do its mission if required to do so.”

The Roosevelt will be docking in Guam, and while she is pierside, no members of her crew will be allowed onto the island, Modly said.  The sailors who have tested positive have been isolated on Guam, and they all have mild symptoms that do not require hospitalization. 

Navy-wide, about 103 active-duty sailors have tested positive to date, Modly said. "I think we are trending higher [than the other services]," he acknowledged. "Data I saw this morning showed that about a third of all the active-duty people that have tested positive are in the Navy and Marine Corps. I don't have a reason for that, it would be speculation for me to tell you why that has happened."

Modly indicated that the Navy's global footprint and its large fleet concentration areas in San Diego and Norfolk could play a role in its relatively high infection rate, but the service has not yet completed its forensic analysis of how and where sailors have become infected.