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U.S. Navy Reports First Virus Infections Aboard Deployed Carrier

The USS Theodore Roosevelt in Gosport, England in 2015. Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

BLOOMBERG, March 24, 2020

Sailors on USS Roosevelt tested positive after Vietnam visit | Three infected sailors were flown off the aircraft carrier

By Roxana Tiron for Bloomberg – Three sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt deployed in the Pacific tested positive for the coronavirus and were recently flown off the aircraft carrier, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told reporters Tuesday during a Pentagon briefing.

It’s the first reported instance of coronavirus infections abroad a U.S. Navy ship at sea. The service said no cases have appeared aboard submarines to date.

The Roosevelt’s last port call was in Danang, Vietnam, about 15 days ago, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday said, at a time when Vietnam had 16 covid-19 cases in the north of the country, away from Danang. The move to go ahead with the port call appeared to be “an informed decision” at the time, Gilday said at the same news conference.

The Navy has identified all crew members who were in touch with the three infected sailors and has them under quarantine, according to Modly.

READ: Maersk oil rig worker tests positive for COVID19

There are about 5,000 people deployed on the USS Roosevelt and there is no plan to pull the ship ashore, Gilday said. The Navy officials declined to give many details about the situation on the ship, saying that operational details would aid U.S. adversaries.

The Navy has covid-19 testing kits on the aircraft carrier. They can do the swabs on the ship and those are sent to the Defense Department facilities, officials said. Apart from the flight time, turnaround on tests is about four to six hours, Navy officials said.

— With assistance by Anthony Capaccio, and Travis J Tritten

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