A USS Theodore Roosevelt sailor is in the ICU with COVID-19 as positive cases rise

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The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group transits in formation Jan. 25, 2020

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group transits in formation Jan. 25, 2020

A sailor assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt was admitted to the intensive care unit at the U.S. Naval Hospital on Guam on Thursday after testing positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) , the Navy said in a statement.

The sailor had tested positive on March 30 and was in a 14-day isolation period on Naval Base Guam at the time of hospitalization. 

Nearly 300 sailors on the aircraft carried have tested positive for COVID-19, the Navy announced on Wednesday, with cases among Roosevelt crew making up more than half of the Navy's 548 cases in the ranks.

NBC News, which first reported the ICU hospitalization on Thursday, reported that the number of positive cases on the Theodore Roosevelt had grown to 416 sailors. The Navy confirmed that number for Task & Purpose.

Medical teams are checking on the 2,700 Theodore Roosevelt crew members who are currently off the ship twice a day, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters on Thursday.

“That’s the procedure that the Navy put in place to make sure we walk through that,” Hyten said. “That was the procedure that was followed. As of this morning we had our first hospitalization of the one sailor.”

“The sailors are not by themselves either,” he added. “They have buddy systems that are watching for each other. It’s not just waiting for the medical folks to come out every 12 hours. They’ve got buddies that are around all the time. This particular one happened from night to morning, but there were buddies around and the buddies found him.”

The news comes on the heels of a more than a week of tumult for the aircraft carrier, which recently saw its commanding officer, Capt. Brett Crozier, relieved for criticizing Navy leadership in a leaked memo for its handling of coronavirus, the evacuation of hundreds of sailors into quarantine in Guam, and the resignation of Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly after he flew out to Guam to lambast Crozier in front of Roosevelt sailors.

Task & Purpose Pentagon correspondent Jeff Schogol contributed to this report.

This story has been updated to include recent positive COVID-19 case data from the Navy.