Navy, CDC release findings from COVID-19 investigation on USS Theodore Roosevelt

More than 60 percent of volunteers have COVID-19 antibodies
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)
Posted at 9:56 AM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 09:56:29-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The Navy and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released findings from a joint public health investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

The virus spread quickly on the aircraft carrier, sidelining the ship in Guam mid-deployment for more than a month.

Sailors were taken off the Theodore Roosevelt and put in isolation to try and slow the spread, with several requiring hospitalization. One Sailor died from COVID-19 complications.

Participation in the public health outbreak investigation was voluntary, with just fewer than 400 of the Theodore Roosevelt's nearly 4,800 crew members taking part.

Volunteers were asked to take a short survey and provide both blood and nasal swab samples for lab testing.

Results showed that 62 percent of those Sailors were infected, with most being mildly ill.

"This is a stealthy virus and the results from this outbreak investigation provides us with increased knowledge about COVID-19 so we can better protect the crew, their shipmates on other vessels, and ultimately the nation," the Navy's Surgeon General Rear Admiral Bruce Gillingham shared in a release.

"This study paints a picture of current and prior SARS-CoV-2 infection among young adults living in close quarters," said Dan Payne, the CDC's study author, in a statement.

"This data will contribute to understanding COVID-19 in the U.S. military, as well as among young adults in other close communal environments," Payne added.

The study found that loss of taste or smell were the most prevalent symptoms reported.

Nearly a fifth of participants in the study who had a COVID-19 infection did not report any symptoms.

You can read the full report here.