Cmdr. Brianna Rupp, a preventative medicine physician from the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, takes a survey from a USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Sailor as part of a public health outbreak investigation. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Chris Liaghat)

NAVAL BASE GUAM - Sailors stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) voluntarily participated in a public health outbreak investigation from their various locations on Naval Base Guam, April 20-24.

The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting the study to better understand Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and how it spreads in high-density locations such as ships.

“The CDC has a new test that identifies the presence of COVID-19 antibodies,” said Rear Adm. Stu Baker, commander, Carrier Strike Group 9. “With their new test, they are able to identify the presence of COVID-19 antibodies allowing researchers to gather information on all Sailors affected by the virus, with or without symptoms or a positive test.”

The resulting analysis from this investigation will provide a better understanding of how this outbreak spread on the TR and guide public health decision making in the future. Additionally, this outbreak investigation will advise future testing strategies, operational planning, and COVID-19 mitigation measures to ensure mission readiness of the TR and other naval vessels.

“This has been an incredibly challenging couple of weeks for the crew, continued Baker. “But we want to get healthy, get back to sea and continue our mission to support our nation.”

To date, Theodore Roosevelt’s crew has been impacted by this virus harder than any other military unit. This is an opportunity for TR Sailors to make a difference and help the United States battle this virus and prevent and contain future outbreaks.

“With this study, our Sailors have the opportunity to contribute significantly to this Navy and CDC COVID-19 research investigation designed to identify anti-body tests to combat the virus in the future,” said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, commanding officer, Theodore Roosevelt. “In my first address to the crew, I remarked on my pride at their concern for one another, a reflection of today’s young Sailors’ altruistic outlook. They are very generous and inspiring. I signed up too.”

Completely voluntary, participants needed only to fill out a brief survey, receive a nasal swab and provide a blood sample at the conclusion. According to U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, results will be completed in approximately 30 days.

Theodore Roosevelt is America's fourth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier with a crew of 5,000 Sailors who support and conduct air operations at sea. Theodore Roosevelt departed San Diego for a scheduled Indo-Pacific deployment, Jan. 17 and is in Guam for a scheduled port visit for resupply and crew rest.

Hospitalman Megan Meyer from Naval Hospital Guam takes a blood sample from a USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Sailor. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Chris Liaghat)

Hospitalman Christian Akins from Naval Hospital Guam takes a nasal sample from a USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Sailor. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Chris Liaghat)

Capt. Carlos Sardiello gives blood for a serology study aimed at identifying antibodies associated with COVID-19. (MCSN/Kaylianna Genier)

Medical professionals from Naval Hospital Guam and the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center collect surveys nasal swabs and blood samples from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Sailors. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Chris Liaghat)