WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy announced Wednesday that the aircraft carrier sidelined for two months due to a coronavirus outbreak was back at sea.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier was forced to dock in Guam after some of the nearly 5,000 crewmembers aboard the vessel became infected with the deadly virus. During the nearly two months that the Roosevelt was moored, the U.S. Navy tested every crewmember, provided treatment to those infected and cleaned the vessel from bow to stern.
"It feels great to be back at sea," said Rear Adm. Stu Baker, commander, Carrier Strike Group 9. "Getting Theodore Roosevelt and Carrier Air Wing 11 one step closer to returning to their mission in the Indo-Pacific is a great achievement for the crew."
The U.S. Navy said the crew will execute social distancing as well as other Covid-19 prevention and mitigation policies.
The latest revelation comes as the Pentagon conducts a deeper investigation into the handling of a coronavirus outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt which subsequently led to the firing of U.S Navy Capt. Brett Crozier and the resignation of then-acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly.
The Pentagon's inspector general said last week that it will evaluate the U.S. Navy's response to coronavirus outbreaks on vessels.
In a memo to the Department of the Navy, dated May 11, the Pentagon's inspector general's office wrote that it will "determine whether the Navy has implemented policies and procedures to prevent and mitigate the spread of infectious diseases, such as coronavirus-disease-2019 (COVID-19), on ships and submarines."
"In addition, we will determine whether mitigation measures that are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 were implemented across the fleet."