Recently, three sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the second outbreak at sea on the ship within a year.
In the spring of last year, the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt became the first US Navy ship to suffer a major Covid-19 outbreak. It started small. In early March, after a potential exposure to the virus in a port-call in Da Nang, one sailor tested positive for Covid-19. A few days later, four more tested positive. Soon dozens of sailors had tested positive and the ship was diverted to Guam. By April, almost one-quarter of the 4,865 sailors aboard the ship had tested positive for the virus, and one sailor had died from the disease.
The US Navy has gained considerable experience in managing shipboard Covid 19 infections but the battle against the pandemic continues.
In April, just as the infection on the Theodore Roosevelt was getting under control, the destroyer USS Kidd was diverted to San Diego with an outbreak that resulted in almost 100 out of 380 sailors testing positive.
In November, nearly a quarter of the crew on the destroyer USS Michael Murphy tested positive for Covid-19.
The Navy has begun a voluntary vaccination program. Members of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group will get the option to receive the first dose of the vaccine for COVID-19, the sometimes-fatal illness caused by the coronavirus, on Saturday. So far, about 80% of the crew — roughly 5,000 strike group members — say they intend to get the shots, according to Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, U.S. Second Fleet commander.