USS Theodore Roosevelt docked in Guam amid coronavirus outbreak 070420 CREDIT US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
USA

Coronavirus: Sailors To Return To USS Theodore Roosevelt

The crew will go back to the ship in waves, moving to sections that have been cleaned.

USS Theodore Roosevelt docked in Guam amid coronavirus outbreak 070420 CREDIT US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Sailors who were put in quarantine following an outbreak of coronavirus on board USS Theodore Roosevelt are set to return to the ship.

Thousands of members of the US Navy were taken off the aircraft carrier at the beginning of April as COVID-19 spread rapidly.

Hundreds of personnel are expected to reboard the ship over the next several days, having spent time in gyms and hotels in Guam while the vessel was cleaned.

The aircraft carrier gained international attention after it docked in the Western Pacific island at the end of March because of the outbreak.

But the crisis surrounding the ship continued when its commander, Captain Brett Crozier, was fired after an email he sent to Navy commanders, pleading for faster action to be taken to address the virus, was leaked.

He was relieved of duty by Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who publicly condemned Capt Crozier in a visit to the ship.

Mr Modly later resigned amid heated criticism and last week, the top Navy officer, Admiral Mike Gilday, recommended that Capt Crozier be reinstated.

USS Theodore Roosevelt's crew have been cleaning the ship space-by-space and then cordoning off the clear areas.

The bulk of the ship has now been cleared and is ready for sailors to return.

Caution tape protecting clean area on USS Theodore Roosevelt after coronavirus outbreak 270420 CREDIT US DEPT OF DEFENSE
Clean spaces on board the aircraft carrier have been cordoned off (Picture: US Department of Defense).

Personnel will go back to the ship in waves, moving to clean sections and taking over running the ship.

Essential personnel will be among the first to return, including sailors who work with the nuclear reactor.

Those who remained on the vessel to keep it secure and monitor its nuclear reactor will now go ashore for quarantine.

More than 4,000 of the roughly 4,800 crew members had been taken off the ship.

As of Tuesday, 940 USS Theodore Roosevelt sailors have tested positive for the virus, and 29 have recovered.

One of the sailors serving on board the aircraft carrier died of complications related to COVID-19 on 13 April.

Cover image: USS Theodore Roosevelt docked in Guam earlier this month (Picture: US Department of Defense).