WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has been heavily infected with coronavirus. Twenty five sailors have tested positive so far, as the Navy is moving rapidly to test the remainder of the crew.
It is understood some or all of those infected have been flown off the ship by helicopter. They are, according to the Navy, in good shape, showing only minor symptoms.
"None of them have been required to be hospitalized because their symptoms are very mild, their aches and pains and those types of things, sore throats but nothing that required hospitalization. So they're in quarantine now on Guam," Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said Friday.
There are 5,000 officers and crew aboard the Teddy Roosevelt, which is berthing in Guam.
"It will be pier-side. No one on the crew will be allowed to leave anywhere into Guam other than on pier-side. And we are already starting the process of testing 100 percent of the crew to ensure that, that we've got that contained," the acting Navy secretary said.
The secretary did not specify the number at '25,' but rather used the term 'several.' CNN is reporting the number at 25 based on confidential information the network says it has received from a Navy official. The Navy is unlikely to confirm the number for operational reasons.
Modly did however confirm the total number of U.S. sailors infected is 133. "We have a total of 133 COVID-19-positive cases in the United States Navy. That's 104 active duty military, 23 civilians, 16 dependents, and 19 contractors," he said Friday.
"With respect to the Marine Corps, as of today, we have 44 positive tests for COVID-19 within the Marine Corps; 31 military, five civilian, five dependents and three contractors. We are continuing to take actions across the force to prevent the spread of the disease, contain any potential outbreaks and recover the force as quickly as possible."
The Navy later clarified that the coronavirus threat is being taken seriously by the Navy and that all testing on board the ship is being carried out in accordance with CDC guidelines.
"We are taking this threat very seriously and are working quickly to identify and isolate positive cases while preventing further spread of the virus aboard the ship. No sailors have been hospitalized or are seriously ill," Chief of U.S. Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said Friday.
"Our medical team aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt is performing testing for the crew consistent with CDC guidelines, and we are working to increase the rate of testing as much as possible. Immediate priority will be symptomatic sailors, those in close contact with sailors who have tested positive already, and essential watch standers. We are isolating those who test positive. Testing will continue as necessary to ensure the health of the entire ship's crew. In addition, the medical staff will continue to actively monitor the health of the crew."
"Deep cleaning of the ship's spaces is also ongoing." (The ship) "is in Guam on a previously-scheduled port visit. The resources at our naval medical facilities in Guam will allow us to more effectively test, isolate, and if necessary treat sailors. We expect additional positive tests, and those sailors who test positive will be transported to the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam for further evaluation and treatment as necessary. During the port visit, base access will be limited to the pier for Roosevelt's Sailors. No base or regional personnel will access the pier," Adm. Gilday said.
"We're taking this day by day. Our top two priorities are taking care of our people and maintaining mission readiness. Both of those go hand in glove."
"We are confident that our aggressive response will keep USS Theodore Roosevelt able to respond to any crisis in the region," he added.