USS Roosevelt Sailor Dies After Contracting Coronavirus amid Controversy Over Ship's Outbreak

Nearly 600 sailors on the ship tested positive for coronavirus, the Navy told CNN

USS Theodore Roosevelt
Photo: Alex Millar/US Navy/Sipa/Shutterstock

A sailor who was aboard aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt has died after contracting COVID-19, the United States Navy said.

The unidentified male sailor died on Monday at the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, just two weeks after he had tested positive for the highly contagious illness, according to a press release on the Navy’s website.

So far, 92 percent of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt’s crew members have been tested for coronavirus, and nearly 600 sailors on the ship received positive results, the Navy told CNN in a statement.

The Navy noted that more than 4,000 sailors have been evacuated from the aircraft carrier to Guam and those who tested negative are being isolated in nearby hotels.

Concern over the crew members’ health has made headlines in recent weeks due to Capt. Brett Crozier, the Navy captain who was fired after he tried to raise the alarm to officials about the growing number of coronavirus cases on his ship. Crozier himself tested positive for coronavirus, The New York Times reported last week.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly — who issued an apology after referring to Capt. Crozier as “naïve” and “stupid” in a leaked speech — resigned over the fallout on Tuesday.

Following the sailor’s positive COVID-19 results, the Navy spokesperson said the sailor was removed from the ship and kept isolated in a house on Naval Base Guam with four other sailors who fell ill on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt.

“Like other Sailors in isolation, he received medical checks twice daily from Navy medical teams,” the spokesperson explained in the press release.

The sailor’s condition worsened on Thursday morning around 8:30 a.m. local time, when medical professionals went to perform a daily check and found him unresponsive.

“While Naval Base Guam emergency responders were notified, CPR was administered by fellow Sailors and onsite medical team in the house,” the spokesperson explained. “The Sailor was transferred to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam where the Sailor was moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).”

After four days in the ICU, the sailor died due to “COVID-related complications,” the Navy spokesperson said.

The sailor’s identity has not yet been released. Officials will likely release that information on Tuesday, once his next-of-kin has been notified, according to the spokesperson.

The aircraft carrier ship, named after former President Theodore Roosevelt, arrived in Guam on March 27, the press release stated. They were scheduled for a port visit for resupply and crew rest, according to the Navy spokesperson.

News of the sailor’s death comes as four others on the ship were hospitalized due to their symptoms, a Defense official told CNN.

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“Over the weekend, four additional Theodore Roosevelt Sailors were admitted to the hospital for monitoring,” the official told the outlet. “All are in stable condition, none are in ICU or on ventilators.”

As of Monday, there have been at least 555,371 cases and 22,056 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the United States, according to the New York Times.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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