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Contractor's death is thought to be first linked to pandemic within DOD community

An illustration depicts an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 22, 2020

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A defense contractor working in northern Virginia died Saturday after testing positive for the coronavirus in what is believed to be the first reported pandemic death of someone affiliated with the Department of Defense.

The contractor had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and had been under medical treatment at a local hospital, the Pentagon said in a statement Sunday.

The contractor’s name, age and gender were not released and the statement did not say whether the person, who worked at the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, suffered from an underlying medical condition.

The Washington Post said the contractor was a man and worked inside the same agency as a Marine who became Virginia’s first known coronavirus patient.

“The spaces in DSCA where the individual worked have been cleaned in accordance with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance when he tested positive and the person’s coworkers have been teleworking,” DOD said.

Last week, the Defense Department said it had 81 cases among service members, families and employees worldwide but no deaths.

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