Study of COVID-19 outbreak aboard USS Roosevelt suggests more infected sailors than originally believed

(Photo by PNC Chief Photographer Allan Balbin)

The investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt is officially complete and some results are already public.

While the full report won’t be released until tomorrow, Navy officials, speaking on conditions of anonymity, told Reuters that the serology study found surprising rates of infection.

The CDC and Navy Public Health Center had collaborated on the investigation in April, while the ship was still docked in Apra Harbor.

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The study found 60 percent of sailors aboard the aircraft carrier had anti-bodies for the virus, suggesting more infection than originally believed.

There are around 4800 crewmembers assigned to the USS Roosevelt of which over 1100 had tested positive for COVID-19, around 23% of the crew.

One sailor died due to complications from the disease and a handful were hospitalized

Navy officials, speaking to Reuters, say around 400 sailors participated in the serology investigation although they’d hoped for about 1,000 participants.

Still, they say the number that did participate is enough for statistically relevant data about the disease-spread on one of the Navy’s most powerful assets.

PNC News will have more details from the serology study when it’s released in full.

Last week, the ship came back to Guam to pick up some 1100 “work-ready” sailors of the 1800 it had left behind to recover from the disease or finish out their quarantine.

Navy officials say the TR is now on its scheduled mission — to maintain peace in the Indo-Pacific.