COVID-19 testing complete for all USS Roosevelt personnel; but positive sailors will be re-tested

NAVAL BASE GUAM (April 9, 2020) Sailors and Marines from 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, sterilize a building in support of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Sailors. Theodore Roosevelt is docked at Naval Base Guam where Sailors from the ship are practicing social distancing and following other guidelines from the CDC, U.S. Navy and the Governor of Guam as part of a COVID-19 mitigation effort during a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Julio Rivera/Released)

Everyone aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt has now been tested, according to the US Navy, with over 800 sailors confirmed positive for COVID-19 so far.

But it could take some time yet until the sailors get back on the ship.

As of Friday morning, the Navy confirmed 840 crew members from the Roosevelt had tested positive for COVID-19.

They say 100 percent of the ship has now been tested, with nearly 90 sailors recovered and 4 in the hospital.

One sailor died and remains the only US active-duty military member to succumb to the virus.

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Earlier this week Rear Admiral John Menoni, the Joint Region Marianas Commander, said the Navy was working to get sailors back onto the aircraft carrier in the next few weeks.

“Well, we’re not moving sailors back onto the ship today. I can confirm that. I’d say in the next couple of weeks we’re looking to have the majority of the crew back on the ship, and then working to get them out to sea in the very near future,” Menoni said.

But on Wednesday this week, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said Menoni spoke to her and said that while they’d hoped to get sailors back on board this weekend, they need to keep them on Guam for one more week beyond that.

PNC News has spoken directly to TR sailors who have tested positive for the disease. They’ve requested anonymity.

They told PNC that it was explained to them this week by someone in charge that all the sailors who tested positive will be re-tested on their 14th day of isolation.

If they test negative, they’ll be swabbed again around 3 days later and then if those second results come back negative, they’ll be moved to either a hotel or the ship.

The sailors we spoke to said the plan, as it was told to them, could include added quarantine time after they test negative twice.

With some sailors still testing positive each day, there are a multitude of start dates for their initial two-week isolation, meaning positive sailors could still be re-testing into May. And then possibly held for additional quarantine time.

This would contradict the one-week timeline announced this week.

With a total of just over 1000 COVID-cases in the US military, the USS Roosevelt’s sailors make up the lion’s share.

PNC reached out to Navy officials to confirm the re-testing plan shared with us but as of news time, they had not responded.