Aircraft carrier returns to sea after coronavirus outbreak

Seabees coordinate transportation of U.S. Navy sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt who have tested

Seabees coordinate transportation of U.S. Navy sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt who have tested

"Our sailors have tested all of the ship's systems individually, but this is our opportunity to integrate all of that together and show that (USS) Theodore Roosevelt is ready and able to go back to sea", said Captain Carlos Sardiello, commanding officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt.

To maintain social distancing on board, only crewmembers essential to the carrier flight qualifications set sail with the ship. After evacuating some 4,000 sailors from the ship to Guam, the US Navy had returned sailors after a period of quarantine and isolation in the hope of setting the carrier at sea as soon as possible. All 14 of those sailors had previously tested positive and been isolated for at least two weeks. About 1,800 sailors will stay behind to finish their quarantine.

The ship docked in Guam on March 27, after sailors on board tested positive for COVID-19. "Carrier qualification requires fewer personnel than other missions, and bringing fewer sailors on board will allow for greater social distancing while underway". Fourteen of those sailors had recovered from the virus but then tested positive again, according to the official. Those sailors and a number of others who had contact with them were removed from the ship.

This will be the first of a few short underways before the carrier goes back on deployment.This first underway will likely be brief and consist of basic drills to certify the crew can handle the carrier after the extended time away from sea, U.S. Navy officials told USNI News.

"Fast Cruise is the culmination of all systems being online and operationally checked as the crew executes major at sea evolutions while being pier side". They included adjusted meal hours, minimizing in-person meetings, sanitizing, wearing masks and "medical surveillance of 100% of the crew", according to the Thursday statement.

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The plight of the Roosevelt garnered national headlines after The Chronicle published the desperate letter from former commanding officer Capt. Brett Crozier, who called for a speedy evacuation of the ship to prevent sailors from dying.

Nearly 90 of the Kidd's 330 or so sailors are back on board after testing negative for the novel coronavirus, which began spreading on board in late April as the Everett, Wash. -based ship conducted anti-drug operations in the eastern Pacific near South America.

"The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating", Crozier wrote March 30. "Sailors do not need to die". Those sailors have received two negative COVID-19 tests. It was not clear whether the most recent re-infections would slow the carrier's return to its mission.

Crozier was sacked by then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who resigned following comments he made to the ship's crew in Guam, where he blasted Crozier as being "naive" and "too stupid".

The investigation, due to Gilday by Wednesday, will "provide a more robust documentation of events and give a fuller consideration of the circumstances surrounding the matter", Gilday spokesman Cmdr. "By doing that, we also help to protect the health of our communities where we serve", said Vice Adm. Richard Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces, in a statement.

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