Another aircraft carrier has confirmed a case of coronavirus in a crew member, according to a news report.
Citing three U.S. defense officials, Politico reported Tuesday that a sailor on board the carrier Nimitz (CVN 68) has tested positive for COVID-19. The sailor’s test came back positive last week after the individual exhibited symptoms on board, Politico said.
Another crew member also has coronavirus, but the member has not been working on the carrier, Politico said.
A U.S. defense official told Military.com on Tuesday that a Nimitz-based sailor, who displayed symptoms was placed into isolation in late March out of an abundance of caution, was tested twice in recent days. However, both tests came back inconclusive. It was not immediately clear if the latest case is the same sailor.
The carrier is the fourth to report a case of the highly contagious disease among its crew.
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, based in Bremerton, Washington, has been readying for a deployment, Politico reported. The Nimitz strike group is part of the U.S. 3rd Fleet, which coordinates with U.S. 7th Fleet to conduct missions throughout the Pacific.
A request for comment from 3rd Fleet was not immediately returned.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt, which reported its first COVID cases on March 24 and now has more than 200 among its crew, had to be sidelined in Guam to offload thousands of sailors in an effort to manage the outbreak.
Capt. Brett Crozier, who commanded the Roosevelt, was removed from his job after a letter he wrote about the situation on his ship was sent to people outside his chain of command last week. Then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly on Thursday fired Crozier, calling the leak of the letter — not the letter itself — an “uncharacteristic lack of judgment.”
Modly resigned Tuesday following a a visit to the Roosevelt to deliver a speech in which he suggested the Crozier was “too naïve or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this.” The remarks became public and sparked major backlash, with former officials and lawmakers calling for Modly to step down.
The Roosevelt, which has more than 5,000 people onboard, joined two other carriers that had reported cases last month.
The USS Ronald Reagan, forward deployed in Japan, said two sailors on board had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27, according to a report from Fox News.
The Kitsap Sun reported on March 23 that a member of the USS Carl Vinson’s crew was also diagnosed with COVID-19.
— Gina Harkins contributed to this report.
— Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.
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