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A US Navy ship that had massive COVID outbreak now has new cases, officials say

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FILE – In this July 9, 2020 file photo the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier makes its way into San Diego Bay as seen from San Diego. Three sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for COVID-19, the Navy said Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, less than a year after a massive outbreak on the ship sidelined it in Guam for nearly two months. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

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More than 1,000 people on the USS Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for COVID-19 last spring. Now there are new cases.

Three sailors on the aircraft carrier tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, the Navy said in a Monday news release.

The sailors “have not experienced any symptoms” and are isolating on the ship, officials said. Everyone who was in close contact with the sailors who tested positive were tested for COVID-19 and were negative, the Navy said.

“The ship is following an aggressive mitigation strategy in accordance with Navy and CDC guidelines to include mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, and proper hygiene and sanitation practices,” the Navy said in the news release. “U.S. Pacific Fleet is committed to taking every measure possible to protect the health of our force.”

The new COVID-19 cases come less than a year after a massive COVID-19 outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. During the outbreak, 1,271 crew members tested positive for the virus, according to the Navy.

Twenty-three crew members were hospitalized, four received intensive care and one died during the outbreak, officials said.

“Transmission was facilitated by close-quarters conditions and by asymptomatic and presymptomatic infected crew members,” research on the outbreak found. “Nearly half of those who tested positive for the virus never had symptoms.”

Several Navy ships have had cases of the virus, but only two have had outbreaks while at sea, The Washington Post reported.

“The Navy’s ability to control a COVID-19 outbreak on a ship at sea shows that the Navy is able to control the virus even if there is community spread in a ship’s home port,” an investigation from the Defense Department found, according to The Post.

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