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Topline: Three sailors aboard Navy vessel USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the coronavirus, signalling the first confirmed cases on a deployed ship, Navy officials said Tuesday— and despite 5,000 sailors living and working in tight quarters onboard, the Navy will not pull the ship from deployment.
- The three sailors confirmed to be infected were flown off the ship Tuesday and are being quarantined— and every person who had contact with the infected individuals is being quarantined on board, said Acting Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly at a Tuesday press conference.
- The ship will continue with its planned deployment according to Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday, as the Navy is not in a position to pull the ship from the front lines, he said.
- USS Theodore Roosevelt, currently sailing the Pacific Ocean, docked as recently as 15 days ago but officials said it would be too difficult to tie down that particular port visit to the active cases.
- The infected sailors have relatively mild symptoms, despite testing positive; they have a fever and “some body aches,” but wouldn’t be characterized as needing hospitalization, Gilday said.
Key background: The three confirmed cases on board are the latest in a slew of positive coronavirus tests for the Navy. According to Modly, the Navy has 86 active confirmed coronavirus cases— 57 are Navy military, 13 are Navy civilians, 11 are dependents of Navy members and 11 are contractors.
Navy ships leaving port are directed to undergo a two-week self-quarantine where they will not anchor at another port, according to Breaking Defense.
Tangent: The Navy has sent the USNS Mercy, another vessel, to be deployed to Los Angeles, California joining the USNS Comfort — bound for New York Harbor— in aiding the fight against coronavirus. The ships will serve as a medical resource for the U.S.’s two largest cities.
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