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More than 60% of the 400 sailors tested on carrier had COVID-19 antibodies

The joint study by the U.S. Navy and the CDC is to be released on Tuesday.

An antibody study of 400 sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt found that more than 60% of those who were tested had COVID-19 antibodies, according to two U.S. officials.

The highly anticipated joint study by the U.S. Navy and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will provide researchers with valuable data about how the novel coronavirus affects young adults since they make up the majority of the nearly 5,000 sailors aboard the carrier. The study is to be released on Tuesday.

Nearly 1,200 sailors tested positive for the virus with the overwhelming majority being asymptomatic or presenting only mild symptoms. Fewer than 10 sailors required hospitalization, one of whom later died.

The joint Navy and CDC study will be the first major study of how a young adult population reacts to exposure to the virus. The results of the study were first reported by Reuters.

The carrier left Guam last week to continue a deployment in the western Pacific Ocean after it was interrupted by a 10-week stay while the crew was quarantined or isolated after almost a quarter of the ship's crew was infected with the coronavirus. While the majority of the ship's crew was aboard the Roosevelt when it left, more than 350 sailors remained behind either to continue recuperating from the disease or to provide them support.

The sailors aboard the Roosevelt will all wear masks and carry out social distancing for the rest of their deployment in the Pacific -- a practice that all Navy ships at sea are also employing.

Before a ship can head out to sea, a ship's crew must be tested and quarantined for 14 days before boarding the ship.

To minimize the exposure to the virus, for the foreseeable future ports of call will be limited to a select number of Navy bases around the world that can serve as "safe havens" because access can be limited. The Navy bases in Guam and Okinawa will serve that purpose in the Pacific, while bases in the Mediterranean and the Middle East remain to be selected.

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