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The military is the first to test positive during a deployment, the Navy reported Tuesday.
SAN DIEGO- Three United States Navy sailors aboard the San Diego-based USS Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for COVID-19 and will be removed from the aircraft carrier, the Navy said Tuesday.
“These are our first three cases of COVID-19 on a ship during a deployment,” said Thomas Modly, acting secretary of the Navy.
Quarantined sailors will be transferred off the ship, which is currently in the Asia-Pacific region, and those who had contact with the sailors were quarantined, according to Modly.
“Those sailors are warm and have some body aches, but we don’t necessarily characterize them as requiring hospitalization,” said Admiral Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations.
The ship’s most recent port of call was in Da Nang, Vietnam, about 15 days ago, but it would be difficult to link active cases to that particular visit because there are planes flying to and from the ship all the time, according to Gilday.
Gilday said there were 16 positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Vietnam at the time, all isolated around Hanoi, which is about 500 miles from Da Nang.
He said the ship improved the crew’s medical exams when they returned to the ship in Vietnam.
Gilday also noted that nearly 100 ships, about a third of the Navy, are currently at sea worldwide.
The Navy reported 86 total COVID-19 cases on staff Tuesday, including 57 service members, 13 civilians, 11 dependents and five contractors, Modly said.
“Our ships are sailing, our planes are flying, and it is still training to safeguard our national interests in the United States and those of all our allies and partners around the world,” Acting Secretary Modly said Tuesday.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group deployed from Coronado Naval Air Station in January with more than 6,000 people.
The CSG is comprised 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 Army’s two 1,000-bed hospital ships, departed from the San Diego Naval Station on Monday to treat non-coronavirus patients in Los Angeles and relieve local hospitals.