The USS Harry S. Truman will stay at sea in the Atlantic Ocean in order to protect the crew from the coronavirus, the U.S. Navy announced 13th April.
The aircraft carrier, and the ships accompanying it as part of its carrier strike group, will remain at sea to keep readiness.
“The ship is entering a period in which it needs to be ready to respond and deploy at any time,” Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of the 2nd Fleet of the U.S. Navy, said in a prepared statement. “Normally we can do that pierside, but in the face of [the coronavirus pandemic], we need to protect our most valuable asset, our people, by keeping the ship out to sea.”
The U.S. Navy said it will continue to evaluate the carrier strike group’s situation and will update the group’s sailors and their families in about three weeks.
The U.S. Navy has 1,056 cases currently. As we reported before, The USS Theodore Roosevelt was diverted to Guam in late March due to an outbreak of the virus aboard the aircraft carrier, which has since infected 585 sailors. The death of one Roosevelt sailor from the virus was announced Monday.
The U.S. Navy also has two other aircraft carriers struggling with the coronavirus.
The USS Nimitz (CVN-68), now in port in Bremerton, Washington, has had one sailor placed in isolation off the ship after showing symptoms but having an “inconclusive” test for the virus. Another sailor was on leave in early March when that person tested positive and has not returned to the Nimitz.
The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is preparing for deployment from Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, where it has been undergoing maintenance. More than 1,000 sailors from the Reagan and its strike group were bussed to Yokota Air Base and Naval Air Facility Atsugi last week to complete 14-day isolation before they deploy.