SAN DIEGO — A sailor died Monday morning of COVID-19-related complications after contracting the virus while aboard the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, the Navy announced.
The sailor, whose name was withheld pending family notification, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 30 and was placed in an isolation house on Naval Base Guam along with four other USS Theodore Roosevelt sailors, the Navy reported Monday.
Dr. Mark T. Esper, Secretary of Defense released the following statement:
"The entire Department is deeply saddened by the loss of our first active duty member to COVID-19. Our thoughts are with the family of the USS Theodore Roosevelt sailor who lost his battle with the virus today. We remain committed to protecting our personnel and their families while continuing to assist in defeating this outbreak."
On Thursday morning, the sailor was found unresponsive during a daily medical check and was moved to the Intensive Care Unit at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, where his condition worsened and he was pronounced dead Monday morning, according to the Navy.
On Sunday, the Navy announced 35 new COVID-19 cases among sailors assigned to the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt currently docked in Guam, bringing the number of positive cases on the ship to 585.
As of Saturday, 92% of the ship's crewmembers have been tested for COVID-19 and 3,696 sailors have been moved ashore, the Navy reported.
USS Theodore Roosevelt Capt. Brett Crozier was relieved of his duties April 2, three days after a letter he wrote asking for a stronger response to the coronavirus outbreak on the ship was published in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Crozier has since tested positive for COVID-19.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who fired Crozier, submitted his resignation last Monday after a recording surfaced of him addressing the crew over the ship's PA system, in which he called Crozier's actions "a betrayal" and said he believed the captain either purposefully sent the letter to unauthorized parties or must have been "too naive or too stupid" to realize the import of his actions.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 death toll in San Diego County is nearing four dozen, and the number of confirmed cases sits at 1,804.
On Sunday, 43 new cases were reported, but the death toll remained at 45, county health officials said.
The number of hospitalizations grew from 396 to 415, and the number of patients in intensive care rose from 144 to 152.