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Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro speaks at the commissioning of the guided-missile destroyer USS Daniel Inouye at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. Del Toro has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement from Del Toro posted on the Navy website.

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro speaks at the commissioning of the guided-missile destroyer USS Daniel Inouye at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. Del Toro has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement from Del Toro posted on the Navy website. (Wyatt Olson/Stars and Stripes)

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(Tribune News Service) — U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro has tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after returning from a trip to Pascagoula, Miss.

Del Toro had toured Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, along with Sen. Roger Wicker, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Rep. Steven Palazzo, last Wednesday, Jan. 26.

A statement from Del Toro, posted on the Navy website, said he tested positive on the morning of Jan. 31. He had previously tested negative on Jan. 21, before his trip, and on Jan. 28.

"I am grateful to be fully vaccinated and to have received the booster shot in October as I know my symptoms could be far worse," Del Toro wrote. "We must continue to vaccinate our naval forces and look out for our physical health as we finish the fight against COVID. The well-being of our Sailors, Marines, Civilians and their families is of the utmost priority."

The naval secretary said he will attend meetings virtually while quarantining for at least five days.

At Ingalls, Del Toro reflected on the time he had spent stationed in Pascagoula from 1999 to 2001. He helped build the USS Bulkeley (DDG-84).

"I built the USS Bulkeley in this shipyard," he said, "and I actually spent a year and a half living in one of these buildings here on the shipyard and working with my crew building it from the time it was just an empty hole, basically, to the time we sailed off."

During the visit, Del Toro, Hyde-Smith, Wicker and Palazzo boarded ships and toured the 800-acre site, the Sun Herald previously reported.

(c)2022 The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.)

Visit The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.) at www.sunherald.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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