More than 23 sailors working on the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for coronavirus, a sharp spike from three on Tuesday.
Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, said they were working to identify and isolate positive cases quickly to contain the spread of the virus. No sailors were seriously ill or admitted to the hospital. "Our medical team aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt is performing testing for the crew consistent with CDC guidelines, and we are working to increase the rate of testing as much as possible," he said in a statement.
Priority for immediate testing was being given to those sailors who were in close contact with the ones who had already been diagnosed. A medical team was trying to increase the testing rate to identify all existing positive cases. The health of sailors who tested positive was also being monitored.
Infected sailors shows mild symptoms
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly informed Pentagon reporters that all the infected sailors were showing mild symptoms like aches, pain and sore throat. He said ships will continue to sail, planes will fly and training will still happen in order to safeguard national interest.
USS Theodore Roosevelt is currently on Guam Island in the Western Pacific region on a previously scheduled port visit. There are around 5,000 sailors aboard the vessel and all the crew members will be tested. The Navy is expecting more sailors to test positive and patients will be transported to the naval hospital in Guam for further treatment if required.
"We're taking this day by day. Our top two priorities are taking care of our people and maintaining mission readiness. Both of those go hand in glove," Mike said.
The US Navy identified 34 more sailors and Navy civilians who tested positive on Thursday. They were assigned to various ships and port and harbors in different parts of the world. Seventeen additional cases were identified on Wednesday and three sailors in the Pacific fleet tested positive on Tuesday. Those who were in close contact with the sailors who tested positive have been quarantined.