Story at a glance

  • The ship is pulling into Guam where it will stay pierside.
  • Those who tested positive were flown off the ship and quarantined in Guam.
  • Acting Navy secretary Thomas B. Modly said they experienced only mild symptoms.

Thousands of sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Pacific will be tested for the coronavirus after several have tested positive, and the aircraft carrier’s operations at sea will be paused, according to the Washington Post

At least eight sailors aboard the ship carrying about 5,000 sailors tested positive for the virus. Acting Navy secretary Thomas B. Modly said the ship was pulling into Guam, where it would remain pierside.

“We are in the process now of testing 100 percent of the crew of that ship to ensure that we were able to contain whatever spread might have occurred there on the ship,” Modly said in a briefing at the Pentagon, according to the Post. “But I also want to emphasize that the ship is operationally capable and can do its mission if required to do so.”

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The infected sailors were flown off the ship and quarantined in Guam. Modly said they experienced only mild symptoms and do not require hospitalization at this time. 

The rest of the crew will not be permitted to disembark in Guam, other than on pierside, Modly said. 


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The ship docked in Da Nang, Vietnam, two weeks ago, but Modly said sailors could have contracted COVID-19 from another source, as members of a flight crew had also visited the aircraft carrier. 

The first three sailors aboard to test positive Tuesday were the first people to test positive for COVID-19 while aboard a deployed military ship. 

As of Thursday morning, the Pentagon confirmed 280 coronavirus cases among uniformed personnel, 134 among its civilian employees and 62 contractors. The Navy accounts for 133 of Defense Department cases, including 104 active-duty military, the largest share among the services, the Washington Post reports.


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Published on Mar 26, 2020