The US Navy is testing all 5,000 sailors on the deployed aircraft carrier hit by a coronavirus outbreak

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) transits the Pacific Ocean Jan. 25, 2020. The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific.

  • As the coronavirus outbreak on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt worsens, the Navy has decided to test 100% of the flattop's roughly 5,000 sailors.
  • The Navy reported three cases, the first for a deployed warship, on Tuesday. Five more sailors on the Roosevelt tested positive on Wednesday.
  • The ship is pulling into Guam and will remain pierside as the Navy tests the entire crew for the highly infectious coronavirus.
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There has been a coronavirus outbreak aboard a deployed US Navy aircraft carrier, and the situation is getting worse. In response, the Navy is pulling the ship into port and testing the entire crew.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly reported Tuesday that "three cases of COVID-19 have been identified among personnel currently deployed and underway on the USS Theodore Roosevelt." Those three cases marked the first aboard a deployed warship.Advertisement

A Navy official told Insider on Wednesday that the number of infected sailors had risen to eight, as five more sailors had tested positive.

"We found several more cases on board the ship," Modly told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday. "We are in the process now of testing 100% of the crew of that ship to ensure that we're able to contain whatever spread might have occurred there."

There are around 800 COVID-19 test kits on board, but more are being flown in.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt, nicknamed the "Big Stick," is currently pulling into Guam. While pierside, no one on the crew will be permitted to leave. There are around 5,000 sailors aboard the carrier.

Modly told reporters Thursday that none of the sailors who have been airlifted off the ship due to the coronavirus have been hospitalized, explaining that their present symptoms are "very mild." He said there are "aches and pains" and "sore throats," but nothing requiring hospitalization. The acting secretary insisted that the ship remains operationally capable and able to fulfill its mission if necessary.Advertisement

The Navy reported Thursday that 104 active-duty service members have been confirmed to have the coronavirus. That figure is more than one-third the 280 infected active-duty military personnel across the Department of Defense.

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