3 sailors aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt test positive for coronavirus

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SAN DIEGO – Three sailors aboard the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt are isolating after testing positive for COVID-19, U.S. Navy officials said Monday.

171006-N-AZ808-046 SAN DIEGO (Oct. 10, 2017) – The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) departs Naval Base Coronado for a regularly scheduled deployment. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Nicholas Burgains/Released)

The three sailors received positive test results Sunday and have not experienced any symptoms, according to the Navy. All close contacts identified through a contact investigation have tested negative for the virus, officials said.

“The ship is following an aggressive mitigation strategy in accordance with Navy and CDC guidelines to include mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, and proper hygiene and sanitation practices,” the Navy said in a statement. “U.S. Pacific Fleet is committed to taking every measure possible to protect the health of our force.

“USS Theodore Roosevelt is currently underway and remains fully operational.”

It marks the second outbreak on the aircraft carrier within the past year. Last year, more than 1,200 sailors on the ship tested positive for the virus, a situation which led to the dismissal of Capt. Brett Crozier — fired after sending a letter to Navy leadership urging assistance with the COVID-19 situation — and led to nearly two months of quarantining in Guam before the ship returned to sea.

A recent report by the Department of Defense found that ineffective social distancing and the premature release of sailors from quarantine were primary causes for increased cases on the ship.

The report states that lessons learned from the Roosevelt’s outbreak, as well as a separate outbreak aboard the USS Kidd, have been instrumental in the creation and implementation of COVID-19 protocols aboard Naval vessels.

Currently, Theodore Roosevelt and Nimitz Carrier Strike Groups are conducting dual carrier operations in a multi-month deployment, according to the Navy’s website. The Roosevelt remains fully operational, officials said.

Cmdr. Myers Vasquez, a spokesperson for the Pacific Fleet, said the Roosevelt was deployed in December before coronavirus vaccines became available. He said vaccinations are currently voluntary for Navy servicemembers and will continue to be until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lifts its Emergency Use Authorization.

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