• By Mar-Vic Cagurangan and Johanna Salinas

Roosevelt Navy sailor dies of Covid-19


Sailors assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt move ready to eat meals for sailors who have tested negative for Covid-19 and are in quarantine at Tumon hotels. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Julio Rivera/U.S. Navy.

A sailor with the USS Theodore Roosevelt died of Covid-19 infection at the Naval Hospital Guam Monday, the Navy announced.

The deceased sailor, whose name is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification, became the first Covid-19 fatality on the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier, which now has 585 positive cases.

According to a release from the U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs, the sailor tested positive for Covid-19 on March 30. He was removed from the ship and placed in an isolation house on Naval Base Guam with four other Roosevelt sailors.

"Like other sailors in isolation, he received medical checks twice daily from Navy medical teams," the Navy said. "At approximately 8:30 a.m., April 9, the sailor was found unresponsive during a daily medical check. While Naval Base Guam emergency responders were notified, CPR was administered by fellow sailors and onsite medical team in the house."

The sailor was transferred to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, where he was later moved to the intensive care unit.

Roosevelt, which has 5,000 crewmembers, arrived in Guam March 27 for a scheduled port visit for resupply and crew rest. At least 20 sailors aboard Roosevelt are natives of Guam.

As of today, 92 percent of Roosevelt crew members have been tested for Covid-19, with 585 positive and 3,724 negative results. 3,967 sailors have moved ashore. Those who tested negative are quarantined at hotels in Tumon.

At Monday's press briefing, Rear Admiral John Menoni, commander of the Joint Region Marianas, disclosed that one sailor was found to have broken the quarantine protocols.

“There was a break of a quarantine in one of the hotels,” Menoni said. “That sailor was then pulled from the hotel taken back to Naval Base Guam, with all the evidence from the investigation that ensued and turned over to the command for further investigation and then any possible consequences from that.”

Rear Adm. John Menoni at daily press briefing in Guam

A team of medical professionals assigned to 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force has been deployed to Guam in order to augment the Covid-19 response efforts on the aircraft carrier

“There's 585 crew that's reported as positive today. That's a significant amount of sailors,” Menoni said. “I wouldn’t call it an extreme amount. Currently we have medical providers providing two kinds of checks per day for sailors in hotels as well as Naval Base Guam."

He said the Navy has built facilities on Naval Base Guam that can house significant amount of sailors if they are in a quarantine or isolation phase.

"We have medical folks constantly monitoring them, in addition to the folks that would potentially be sent to the Naval Hospital for treatment," Menoni said. "We are also bringing additional capabilities to this island. Those capabilities aren’t built yet, but that would bring with them additional medical providers, as well as support personal. The governor and I would announce those facilities at a later date, but they are in work as we speak.”

When asked about the infections of other servicemembers, Menoni was unsure about their status. “With respect to military on Guam, we’re not going to talk about specifics to each service because I'd be giving specifics on cases on actual installations on bases and that’s not the way we do business,” he said. “There are cases in local DOD military. I believe the total number of active duty military cases are two and those cases are getting ready to clear their quarantine. With respect to each base and individual unit, I won’t talk about it.”

Menoni said the military didn’t have a special dinner for their servicemen in quarantine. “There's no group gatherings,” he said. “No real ability to celebrate Easter in terms of a public mass. I can only truthfully speak from my own experience, which was sitting at home by myself with my boonie dog.”

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