Hundreds of sailors have started moving back on board the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) from quarantine as the ship is preparing to return to sea following a deep cleaning process due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

More than 4,000 sailors have been in quarantine in hotels off base after they were tested negative for Covid-19.

The movement of all sailors back onboard is expected to take several days.

Following the ship’s arrival in Guam, around 700 sailors stayed on board to maintain critical ongoing operations and to begin the cleaning process.

As part of the deep cleaning process, the ship has undergone an aggressive, multi-pronged cleaning regimen, to effectively decontaminate and protect its critical systems.

Prior to the start of disinfection, the spaces were vacated for seven days. This is four days longer than the minimum time recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Spaces that were continuously operational were cleaned by sailors before leaving and immediately upon arrival.

Simultaneously, a phased insolation for the sailors was coordinated by Commander 7th Fleet, Joint Region Marianas, US Naval Hospital Guam, Naval Base Guam and the Government of Guam.

US Naval Hospital Guam commanding officer Captain Maria Young said: “Our mission is to make sure the fighting force in the fleet is ready to go at all times.

“I appreciated the sailors’ patience throughout this whole process, as we worked with one another to maintain the health and readiness of the crew and to get the Roosevelt back to sea.”