U.S. aircraft carrier removing hundreds of crew members after virus outbreak

So far 93 crew members have tested positive.

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USS Theodore Roosevelt in April 2018
USS Theodore Roosevelt in April 2018
(Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
Last Updated:
April 1, 2020 - 10:02pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Navy is removing as many as 2,700 crew members from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt after some of their colleagues tested positive for COVID-19.

Thus far 93 people have tested positive, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said on Wednesday.

"None of them are seriously ill and not one of them has been hospitalized to date," he said, noting that 1273 people have been tested so far, though they have not yet received the results of all those tests.

Nearly 1,000 people have already been removed from the ship and that will increase to around 2,700 in the coming days, according to Modly. 

But he said that the war vessel will not be completely emptied of crew members.

"This ship has weapons on it, it has munitions on it, it has expensive aircraft and it has a nuclear power plant. It requires a certain number of people on that ship to maintain the safety and security of the ship," he explained.

"Our plan has always been to remove as much of the crew as we can while maintaining for the ship's safety," he said.

He also noted the ship is being thoroughly cleaned.