Navy hopes to get sailors back into USS Roosevelt ‘in the next few weeks’

7 APRA, Guam (April 12, 2020) U.S. Navy Aviation Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Kyle Hernandez, from Denton, Texas, assigned to the Tomcatters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31, disinfects a berthing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

Navy officials are hoping to get sailors back onto the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the next few weeks as the ship continues to undergo deep cleaning and sanitization.

As of Monday morning, 672 sailors from the Roosevelt had tested positive for COVID-19, with the Navy acknowledging that additional positive cases are coming from quarantine at Guam hotels.

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JRM Commander Rear Admiral John Menoni said: “Sailors only went into the hotels with a confirmed negative test. And then if they presented with influenza-like symptoms or suspected of having COVID-19, or had a positive test, they were immediately either treated at Naval Hospital and then released back to Naval Base Guam to be put into quarantine. Or, they remained at Naval Hospital, under the care of physicians.”

Menoni says after initially testing negative some 2.5 percent of the Theodore Roosevelt’s crew tested positive on a second sample, although he would not specify how many new cases have come from hotel quarantines.

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero says she knows that some sailors in Tumon have tested positive but says the community was never endangered because strict military protocols were followed.

During the Monday afternoon news conference, Menoni gave an update on the current status of the nearly 5,000-person crew.

“There have been 672 positive cases, and more than 3900 negative results. There are currently 8 TR sailors at the Naval Hospital for treatment of COVID-19 symptoms, with one sailor in the ICU due to shortness of breath,” Menoni said.

He says deep cleaning continues on the ship so the Navy can get the aircraft carrier out to sea as quickly as possible.

“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.

Among positive cases from the Roosevelt is the former Captain, Brett Crozier, according to Navy sources cited by Fox News.

Crozier is still on Guam but there’s no word yet on his being re-instated.

The Navy Public Health Center and the CDC started an outbreak investigation today on the Roosevelt in an attempt to better understand the spread of the disease.