The U.S. Navy said three sailors on board the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Philippine Sea have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The report marks the first incident of the COVID-19 virus aboard a U.S. warship that is deployed, according Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.
Modly said the affected sailors have been placed in quarantine and will be flown from the ship Tuesday.
“We’ve identified all those folks that they’ve had contact with and we’re quarantining them as well,” he told reporters at the Pentagon.
The ship holds a crew of 5,000 sailors as well as dozens of fighter jets and other types of aircraft.
The carrier was last in port 15 days ago in Danang, Vietnam, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday said alongside Modly.
Gilday said that the Navy would proceed as usual following the removal of the sailors who tested positive, saying, “we are not in a position right now to say that we have to pull that ship in. . . this will be a day-by-day evaluation.”
Officials said the mission was to conduct military exercises in an effort to send a message to Beijing, according to Fox News.
The warship, also dubbed the "Big Stick," departed from San Diego in January toward the western Pacific.
There are now 86 Navy-related coronavirus cases, with 57 being active duty, 13 civilian personnel, 11 family members and five contractors.