The USS Theodore Roosevelt has returned to sea, after being docked in Guam for weeks due to a coronavirus outbreak onboard in March.
The US Navy announced the aircraft carrier left Guam today and entered the Philippine Sea to conduct carrier qualifications.
Onboard outbreak: More than 1,000 of the ship’s nearly 4,900-member crew tested positive for Covid-19. After evacuating some 4,000 sailors from the ship to Guam, the US Navy had been returning sailors following a period of quarantine and isolation in the hopes of getting the aircraft carrier to sea as soon as possible.
“After cleaning the entire ship from bow to stern, the appropriate number of crewmembers to operate the ship underway have returned from quarantine after passing rigorous return-to-work criteria,” the Navy said in a news release.
The release added that they were bringing fewer sailors onboard, which would help increase social distancing.
New measures: All sailors onboard have taken required lessons on virus prevention and mitigation, and practiced simulation emergency procedures while executing measures like wearing masks, said the release.
Other virus prevention measures include adjusted meal hours, sanitizing spaces, minimizing in-person meetings, and a simulated medevac.
“It was an unprecedented challenge to get to this point and I’m proud of the Rough Rider Team’s tenacity and resiliency in the face of uncertainty,” said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, the ship’s commanding officer.