Navy to evacuate 2,700 sailors from carrier amid COVID-19 pandemic
The Navy is preparing to evacuate thousands of sailors off of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt within days to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly.
“We already have nearly 1,000 personnel off the ship right now,” Modly told reporters Wednesday.
“In the next couple days, we expect to have about 2,700 of them off the ship. One thing I want to emphasize as well is that we cannot and will not remove all the sailors from the ship.”
The decision to evacuate the sailors follows a plea from the commanding officer of the Roosevelt for the Navy to remove sailors from the ship and place them in individual quarantine spaces.
In response, Modly said the Navy is examining sites in Guam — including those that don’t belong to the Navy or the Department of Defense — to properly accommodate the sailors. For example, the service is in discussion with Guam’s governor to see if hotel space could be used to house some of the sailors, he said.
The Navy first announced on March 24 that three sailors aboard the carrier had tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the service to subsequently order the carrier to pull into port in Guam.
PHOTO: The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, destroyer Russell and cruiser Bunker Hill conducting routine operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Anthony Rivera)
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