Earlier this year, the United States Navy aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt was deployed to the Pacific Ocean. While at sea, several members were diagnosed with COVID-19. The aircraft carrier was ordered to Guam and docked on March 26th and the crew was restricted to the ship and the pier. Sailors testing positive for COVID-19 were quarantined and returned to the ship after further testing.
The first cases of COVID-19 were detected in Guam on March 15, 2020. The first sailor on the USS Theodore Roosevelt was diagnosed on the 22nd of March. The infected numbers rose rapidly. Within ten days, the COVID-19 sailors were quarantined and moved to a restricted location.
A skeleton crew remained on board the aircraft carrier and began the disinfection task of cleaning the entire ship. Within three weeks, 90% of the crew had been moved from the ship. 94% of the crew had been tested with 15% testing positive. 60% of the tested cases had no symptoms. Testing was maintained during the quarantine period until all Navy personnel tested negative.
In May, quarantined sailors testing negative returned to the ship. The last public count of infected sailors was 1,156 with one death. The Navy is still investigating the events surrounding the COVID-19 infection aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and other Navy vessels.
The death rate (one 41-year-old sailor) is 0.09%. This is just under the seasonal influenza death rate of 0.10%. Most infected sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt were under 30 years of age. The carrier has returned to normal operations and continues to monitor for COVID-19.
A similar incident occurred with the French Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. More than 1,000 sailors tested positive for COVID-19. There are no reported deaths.
Military deployed overseas tend to be young, physically fit, and healthy. The low death rate and recovery rate of over 99.99% appear better than the statistics seen at large in the United States and other countries. 90% of COVID-19 patients have mild or no symptoms.
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