3 Sailors Aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt Test Positive, First Deployed Cases

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Three U.S. Navy sailors on San Diego-based USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for COVID-19 and will be flown off the aircraft carrier, the Navy said Tuesday.

"These are our first three cases of COVID-19 on a ship that is deployed," Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said.

The quarantined sailors will be flown off the ship, which is currently in the Asia-Pacific region, and those who had contact with the sailors were being quarantined, according to Modly.

"Those sailors are running a temperature and they have some body aches, but we wouldn't necessarily characterize them as requiring hospitalization," said Admiral Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations.

The ship's most recent port call was in Da Nang, Vietnam, about 15 days ago but it would be difficult to tie the active cases to that particular visit because there are aircraft flying to and from the ship all the time, according to Gilday.

Gilday said there were 16 positive COVID-19 cases reported in Vietnam at the time, all isolated around Hanoi which is about 500 miles away from Da Nang.

He said the ship did enhanced medical screenings of the crew when they returned to the ship in Vietnam.

Gilday also noted that nearly 100 ships, about one-third of the Navy, are currently at sea around the world.

The Navy reported Tuesday 86 total COVID-19 cases among personnel including 57 servicemembers, 13 civilians, 11 dependents and five contractors, Modly said.

"Our ships are sailing, our planes are flying, and training is still happening to safeguard our U.S. national interests and those of all of our allies and partners around the world," Acting Secretary Modly said Tuesday.

USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group deployed from Naval Air Station Coronado in January with over 6,000 personnel.

The CSG is made up of USS Theodore Roosevelt, Carrier Air Wing 11, USS Bunker Hill, Destroyer Squadron 23, USS Russell, USS Paul Hamilton, USS Pinckney, USS Kidd and USS Rafael Peralta.

In other Navy news, USNS Mercy -- one of the Navy's two 1,000-bed hospital ships -- departed from Naval Station San Diego on Monday to treat non-coronavirus patients in Los Angeles and relieve local hospitals.

For the latest San Diego coronavirus news, click here.

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