Eight more sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases on the ship to 13. The eight sailors were already removed from the vessel to self-quarantine and tested negative for the virus twice before being allowed back onto the boat. Some of the 13 sailors reported suffering from symptoms of COVID-19, and they have all been removed from the ship again.
Back on Thursday, CNN reported five sailors who returned to the ship after testing negative later tested positive. Two U.S. defense officials told Politico Saturday that eight more tested positive after testing negative twice. The 13 sailors spent a month in quarantine or isolation in Guam and are now back in isolation after testing positive.
Earlier this month, they began reporting symptoms of the virus. Some showed more severe symptoms, including headaches and body aches, one official said. Navy spokesperson Cmdr. Myers Vasquez told Politico other sailors who came into contact with the 13 sailors were removed from the ship as well. "The ship remains on the road to recovery and will prepare to get back underway once a critical mass of crew with the required expertise is onboard," Vasquez explained.
The Navy was releasing daily data on coronavirus cases until the end of April when the number of active cases on the ship hit 1,102. Almost 3,000 sailors have already been moved back aboard the Roosevelt, which has a crew of nearly 4,900, by Thursday. The Navy said that a quarter of all sailors who tested positive for the coronavirus have already recovered, reports Politico.
The Roosevelt is also facing a possible tuberculosis issue after a sailor was diagnosed with the bacterial infection. That sailor has since been removed from the ship as well, Vasquez explained. "The individual has been removed from the ship, isolated, and will remain under the direct care of the naval health system until cleared by doctors," he said, adding that the Navy performed a contact investigation, and no other TB cases are pending. As for the ship's return to the sea, Vasquez could only say it is "conditions-based." In the meantime, the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet announced the vessel will run a "fast cruise" simulation to test normal working conditions while still moored in Guam.
The Roosevelt is now under the command of Capt. Carlos Sardiello after Capt. Brett Crozier was fired for sharing his concerns about the spread of the coronavirus on the ship too widely. After the San Francisco Chronicle reported on the contents of his memo, Crozier was fired on April 2. Crozier now has a temporary staff job with the Naval Air Forces in San Diego, reports the Navy Times.