23 sailors aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt test positive for COVID-19

23 sailors aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt test positive for COVID-19

23 sailors aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt test positive for COVID-19

All 5,000 personnel aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt will be tested for the coronavirus after the number of sailors on the ship who have tested positive for the virus increased, U.S. Navy officials said on Thursday. The ship is presently in the Philippine Sea after having recently called to port in Da Nang, Vietnam, for five days earlier this month.

"We took great precautions when the crew came back from that shore visit, and did enhanced medical screenings of the crew", he said. The Navy is now chasing all of the ship's personnel.

At least 133 members in the Navy and 44 in the Marine Corps have tested positive for the virus.

PHOTO: An F/A-18F Super Hornet launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) March 18, 2020.

"We expect additional positive tests, and those Sailors who test positive will be transported to the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam for further evaluation and treatment as necessary", he said. But Navy officials said that won't affect their combat power. It is a major cause of concern for defense officials, as the tight quarters in aircraft carriers hold the potential for even more infections among the ship's crew. The Pentagon has reported 321 cases of coronavirus, including 174 active-duty personnel, 59 civilians, 61 dependents, and 27 contractors, as of Tuesday.

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He explained these sailors will be flown off the Roosevelt, which was bound for Guam.

"We are in the process now of testing 100% of the crew of that ship to ensure that we're able to contain whatever spread might've occurred", Modly told reporters at the Pentagon at a briefing Thursday morning.

The Roosevelt has about 800 test kits on board and "we're flying more on there today", he said. There are approximately 5,000 people on board the carrier. He said there are "aches and pains" and "sore throats", but nothing requiring hospitalization.

"The ship is operationally capable to do its mission if required", Mr. Modly said.

With 133 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday morning, the Navy accounts for almost half of the USA military's 280 reported cases.

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