CNN first reported on Thursday that five sailors had tested positive after reboarding the ship, so the new number means the positive cases have more than doubled. The 13 Covid-positive sailors have been removed from the ship and are back in isolation on U.S. Naval Base Guam, according to the officials.
“This week, a small number of TR Sailors who previously tested COVID positive and met rigorous recovery criteria have retested positive,” said Navy spokesperson Cmdr. Myers Vasquez. “These protocols resulted in a small number of close contacts who were also removed from the ship, quarantined and tested.
“The ship remains on the road to recovery and will prepare to get back underway once a critical mass of crew with the required expertise is onboard,” said Vasquez.
At the end of April, when the Navy stopped releasing daily totals, the number of active cases hit 1,102. As of Thursday, more than 2,900 sailors had moved aboard the Roosevelt. More than a quarter of all sailors who have tested positive for Covid-19 have now recovered, according to the Navy.
In addition to the outbreak, the Roosevelt now has a new medical problem. One sailor has been diagnosed with tuberculosis and has been removed from the ship, Vasquez said.
Tuberculosis, or TB, is a bacterial infection that affects the lungs and carries symptoms similar to Covid-19 such as coughing, fever and difficulty breathing. TB kills 1.5 million people per year worldwide — more than any other infectious disease.
“In the course of the ship’s rigorous infection surveillance, a single active case of TB was identified and diagnosed,” said Vasquez. “The individual has been removed from the ship, isolated, and will remain under the direct care of the naval health system until cleared by doctors.”
The Navy conducted a “thorough contact investigation,” medically evaluating and clearing several individuals for the disease. No other active cases are pending, he said.
Vasquez said the Roosevelt’s return to sea would be “conditions-based.”