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Navy reports first coronavirus-related death aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Tavish Davis tests a sailor assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt for symptoms of COVID-19 at Naval Base Guam on April 8, 2020. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan E. Gilbert/U.S. Marine Corps
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Tavish Davis tests a sailor assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt for symptoms of COVID-19 at Naval Base Guam on April 8, 2020. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan E. Gilbert/U.S. Marine Corps

April 13 (UPI) -- A sailor aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has died from coronavirus-related complications, the U.S. Navy announced on Monday.

The unidentified sailor was placed in intensive care at a Guam hospital last week after testing positive for the virus on March 30. This is the Navy's first death by the virus among the crew of the ship.

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The sailor was put in isolation aboard the ship and transferred on April 9 to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam after he was found unresponsive during twice-daily checks. Four other members of the ship's crew were hospitalized over the weekend, but all are in stable condition and breathing without the use of a ventilator, Navy spokesman Cmdr. Clay Doss said.

A week ago the Navy reported that 286 sailors attached to the ship had tested positive, a figure representing about half the Navy's total of infected personnel. On Sunday, the Navy said that 585 sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt had tested positive. Two people aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz also have tested positive.

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The outbreak led to a letter by Capt. Brett Crozier, the ship's commanding officer, who pleaded for help from Navy leadership. Crozier was fired from his position, and acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly resigned after making critical remarks about Crozier to the crew.

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Crozier was cheered by sailors aboard the ship as he left command on April 3. A Navy investigation into the incident will be released later this week, and the Defense Department has not ruled out Crozier's reinstatement as commanding officer.

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