HAGATNA, 20 APRIL 2020 (THE GUAM DAILY POST)—All nine samples returned negative, according to the Government of Guam Joint Information Center.

There were no samples tested at Guam Memorial Hospital.

The government of Guam also contracted with Diagnostic Laboratory Services, a private laboratory, to handle the samples and testing of individuals who are asymptomatic or have minor symptoms of the virus.

Guam’s total COVID-19 count remains at 136.

Of the confirmed cases, 16 individuals are in stable condition, three are hospitalized and 112 have recovered. There have been five COVID-19-related deaths.

According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research, a patient is classified as recovered after at least 72 hours have passed without a fever or additional respiratory issues, and at least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

All remaining cases are in isolation.

More than 660 sailors have tested positive for the coronavirus on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, that is docked in Apra Harbor.

The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center and the CDC are planning to conduct a COVID-19 public health outbreak investigation with volunteers from the crew.

There were 669 COVID-19-positive sailors as of April 18, and 3,913 negative, for a total of 4,582. Some 94% of the crew has been tested.

Medical professionals will use results from the investigation to create “better public health decision making for this ship and advise broader COVID-19 surveillance and mitigation strategies” for the ship and the entire fleet, according to a release.

“An outbreak investigation is a standard part of our public health response for an infectious disease event aboard one of our ships,” said Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, U.S. Navy surgeon general. “This is a stealthy virus in many ways and this outbreak investigation is an important medical weapon to understand its behavior so that we can better protect the crew, their shipmates on other vessels and ultimately the nation.”

The outbreak investigation will ask volunteers to complete a short survey and provide two specimens for laboratory testing. Findings from the outbreak investigation will help the Navy plan for averting or minimizing future outbreaks and improve fleet surgeons’ understanding of this disease.

The carrier arrived in Guam on March 27 after then-commanding officer Capt. Brett Crozier made a public plea for help for his crew, a number of whom were showing COVID-19 symptoms. Crozier was fired by then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who has since resigned. There has been speculation that Crozier, who himself was infected with the respiratory illness, could be reinstated.

Meanwhile, Aviation Ordnanceman Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr., 41, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, died from COVID-19 on April 13 at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, the Navy has confirmed.

Thacker tested positive for COVID-19 March 30, three days after the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt pulled into port in Guam when several of the ship’s sailors had COVID-19.

He was removed from the ship and placed in isolation on Naval Base Guam. On April 9, Thacker was found unresponsive during a daily medical check and transferred to Naval Base Guam via ambulance where he was placed in the Intensive Care Unit, the Navy stated.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time,” said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, Theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer. “Our number one priority continues to be the health and well-being of all members of the Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group and we remain steadfast in our resolve against the spread of this virus.”

Thacker’s spouse, an active duty member stationed in San Diego, was flown via Navy Air Logistics Office flight to Guam, arriving April 11. At the time of his passing, Thacker’s spouse was by his side, according to the Navy….PACNEWS