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COVID-19 cases rise again in SD County; sailor on USS Theodore Roosevelt dies

 

Last updated 4/13/2020 at 5:11pm



SAN DIEGO (CNS) - While case numbers continued to rise across the county, a sailor died today 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, according to the Navy.

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 crew members have been tested for COVID-19 and 3,696 sailors have been moved ashore, according to the Navy.

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 neared four dozen Monday, with two new fatalities reported, raising the county total to 47. Health officials announced 43 new cases of the virus, lifting the total to 1,847.

Both new deaths were females, one in her late 90s, the other aged 100.

The number of hospitalizations grew from 415 to 420, and the number of patients in intensive care rose from 152 to 156. The county estimates 556 positive-testing individuals have recovered.

The trends over the weekend appeared favorable, with slow growth and few additional deaths, but health officials warned against reading too much into the figures. Dr. Eric McDonald, the county's director of the epidemiology branch, said the public should be looking at long-term trends, and those trends are still increasing.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher reported that 13 homeless individuals in the county were among those who have tested positive for COVID-19 -- to date, no temporary residents of the San Diego Convention Center have tested positive.

On Easter Sunday, churches around San Diego County held virtual services, relying on streamlining technology to reach churchgoers who were asked to stay home to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

On Mount Helix in La Mesa, where Christians have been celebrating a sunrise service for 95 years, a pastor streamed the service on YouTube. The amphitheater was empty on Easter for the first time since 1925, said Pastor George Runyan of City Church Ministries.

Leaders from the Catholic, Lutheran and Episcopal communities issued a joint message.

"During this unprecedented time in living history when the whole world is suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, we walk with you on the journey to Easter,'' the message said.

Fletcher said Saturday that officials are seeing an increase in the availability of testing and also seeing more experimental testing. Fletcher said the county will soon appoint a COVID-19 testing coordinator who will oversee bringing hospital and other health officials together to work on expanding testing.

The county and the 23 hospitals in the region have administered 26,132 COVID-19 tests, around 93% of which have returned negative.

 

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