• By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

416 Roosevelt sailors tested Covid-19 positive

The number of USS Theodore Roosevelt sailors who tested positive for Covid-19 has risen to 416, accounting for almost 10 percent of the ship's 5,000 crewmembers. The Navy said 97 percent of Roosevelt's crew have been tested as of today.

One of the coronavirus-positive soldiers was admitted to the intensive care unit of the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam on Thursday. The sailor tested positive for Covid-19 on March 30 and at the time of hospitalization was in a 14-day isolation period on Naval Base Guam, the Navy said. “More details will be released when they become available,” the Navy said.

The tests have cleared 3,170 sailors, who tested negative results and a total of 2,684 sailors have moved ashore. It was not clear how may sailors have been quarantined in Tumon hotels.

“As testing continues, the ship will keep enough sailors on board to sustain essential services and sanitize the ship in port,” the Navy said.

The carrier has been docked in Guam for three weeks since arriving from port visit in Vietnam.

A total of 925 Covid-19 positive cases have been reported Navy-wide. The cases include military personnel, dependent, civilian employees and contractors.

In a statement issued today, James E. McPherson, newly appointed Secretary of the Navy, said the Department of the Navy will maximize the department’s resources and capability to execute the priorities established by the Defense Secretary Mark Esper in response to the Covid-19 crisis: “Protect our people, maintain warfighting readiness, and fully support the whole of government/whole of nation response to protect the American people.”

McPherson replaced Thomas Modly, who recently resigned amid pressure for slamming the former commanding officer of Roosevelt.

“Today, with the extraordinary challenges posed by Covid- 19, and the continual threats we face in a changing global security environment, our nation needs you more than ever. Throughout this crisis, sailors, marines and civilians have stepped forward to protect the American people and our force,” McPherson said.

“From New York to New Orleans, Los Angeles to Dallas, Maine to Guam, you have responded to the medical, logistics, engineering, and security requirements of our homeland during this time of need. And through it all, you have maintained the watch around the world.”

Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of Naval Operations, called on the Navy personnel to “pull together” as they adapt, learn and improve their capability amid the challenge posed by the coronavirus-stricken environment.

“There is no better example of this than USS Theodore Roosevelt – staring down an invisible enemy – dedicated in their efforts – making phenomenal progress, and providing lessons for the Navy and beyond,” Gilday said.

“The events of the past week have been difficult for our Navy and our nation. We will learn from them. But make no mistake, we are moving forward. The Navy has our orders and we are executing them.”

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