USS Theodore Roosevelt Sailors Test Positive for COVID-19 While Underway

October 16, 2020 1:19 PM - Updated: October 16, 2020 3:27 PM
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) participates in dual carrier operations, June 23, 2020. US Navy photo.

At least two sailors from the crew of carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) have been flown of the ship after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, USNI News has learned.

According to Navy officials, the sailors had self-reported symptoms, tested positive for the virus and were flown off the ship in line with the Navy’s revised procedures to stem outbreaks.

“The sailors self-reported after experiencing symptoms, received immediate medical treatment, and were transported off the ship for isolation,” read a Friday statement to USNI News from Naval Air Forces.
“Contact tracing aboard the ship is complete. Theodore Roosevelt is aggressively applying all mitigation measures in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Navy guidance in order to protect the health of our sailors and stop the spread of the virus as we continue to identify and eliminate any of the virus’s potential vectors.”

The New York Times first reported on the positive cases.

The cases were discovered two days after the carrier left its homeport in San Diego, Calif., on Tuesday for sustainment training ahead of a double pump in the next several months.

The Navy’s new rules on how to handle positive cases were shaped by an outbreak earlier this year aboard Theodore Roosevelt that resulted in more than the 1,200 positive cases and the death of one sailor, and a separate outbreak aboard USS Kidd (DDG-100). The service has adopted new procedures that isolate positive cases at sea and have proved to be more effective.

In late August, sailors from the Japan-based USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) tested positive for COVID-19 and were flown off the ship without bringing the carrier back to port.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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