Two sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and have been transported off the ship, Navy officials confirmed to Task & Purpose.
The news, first reported by The New York Times, comes just six months after the Navy aircraft carrier was the epicenter of a massive outbreak that led to a fresh new hell every week, from the abrupt firing of its captain, Brett Crozier, to quarantining in Guam, and a cascade of news headlines that precipitated the early departure of the service’s then-acting secretary, Thomas B. Modly.
The “USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) identified a small number of sailors who tested positive for COVID-19 while conducting routine training at sea, Oct. 15, 2020,” Cmdr. Zach Harrell, a Navy spokesman, told Task & Purpose.
According to Harrell, no additional cases beyond the two noted by the Times, have been reported since Thursday.
“The sailors self-reported after experiencing symptoms, received immediate medical treatment, and were transported off the ship for isolation,” Harrell said.
Immediately following the confirmed cases of COVID-19, the ship’s crew began contact-tracing and instituting a 14-day quarantine for those who had close contact with the confirmed cases aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
“You get traced and go into a precautionary quarantine,” Harrell said, adding that less than 1 percent of the crew is currently in quarantine aboard the ship.
“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,” Harrell said.
The new cases come a day after the Navy identified a sailor aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt who fatally shot himself while standing watch.
The Roosevelt is currently off the coast of San Diego as it prepares to get underway for another deployment, just months after the carrier returned from its last tour, during which a quarter of the crew contracted COVID-19.