Hundreds of sailors began the transition from quarantine and isolation to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt yesterday, as the ship prepares to return to sea after a bow-to-stern deep cleaning process.
More than 4,000 sailors who tested negative for the coronavirus have been in quarantine in hotels off base, the Navy said. It will take several days to move all of these sailors back onboard.
After the ship’s arrival to Guam on March 27, approximately 700 sailors remained on board to maintain critical ongoing operations and begin the cleaning. Since then, the Navy said, the ship underwent an aggressive, multipronged cleaning regimen, which balanced effective decontamination with protecting the ship’s critical systems. Spaces were vacated for seven days – four days longer than the minimum recommended by the Centers for Disease Control – before being thoroughly disinfected. For spaces that were continuously operational, Sailors cleaned the area before leaving it, while the incoming sailors cleaned it immediately upon arrival.
Meanwhile, Commander 7th Fleet, Joint Region Marianas, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, Naval Base Guam and the government of Guam coordinated to isolate and quarantine the ship’s sailors in phases, in accordance with recommended Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) standards.
“Our mission is to make sure the fighting force in the fleet is ready to go at all times,” said Capt. Maria Young, commanding officer, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam. “I appreciated the sailors’ patience throughout this whole process, as we worked with one another to maintain the health and readiness of the crew and to get the Roosevelt back to sea. We are happy to help.”