Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY Published 4:22 p.m. ET March 24, 2020 | Updated 4:31 p.m. ET March 24, 2020CLOSE Social distancing matters. Here is how to do it and how it can help curb the COVID-19 pandemic. USA TODAYWASHINGTON – Three sailors aboard the 5,000-member USS Theodore Roosevelt have contracted COVID-19 and were airlifted from the aircraft carrier in the Pacific, Navy officials announced Tuesday. They are the first sailors to become ill from the coronavirus while aboard a ship at sea, raising questions about further spread of the highly contagious disease and the overall strain of the pandemic on military readiness. The Pentagon already has canceled or curtailed major war-training exercises, quarantined thousands of troops, closed recruiting centers and slapped limits on foreign and domestic travel.  Defense Secretary Mark Esper acknowledged Tuesday that readiness, the term the military uses to gauge its ability to fight, has been affected by coronavirus. Several major training operations have been canceled since the pandemic swept around the globe.The Pentagon remains capable of meeting any threats, he said.Officials aboard the Roosevelt are tracing the contacts the three sailors had to determine if the disease has spread further, said Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations.The Roosevelt had been at


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