California National Guardsman is sixth US service member to die from the coronavirus
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WASHINGTON — A 36-year-old staff sergeant assigned to the California National Guard has died from the coronavirus about a week after the Defense Department announced the death of an Army reservist from the disease, the Pentagon said Monday.
The soldier died Thursday and he was assigned to the 40th Combat Aviation Brigade out of Fresno, Lt. Col. Jonathan Shiroma, a spokesman for the California Military Department, wrote Monday in an email.
Shiroma did not release the soldier’s name, an official photo or any other personal details, citing a request for privacy from the soldier’s family.
The death was first reported only as an increase in the number of deaths in the Pentagon’s coronavirus case chart, which was updated Monday.
The soldier’s death was just days after Army Master Sgt. Brian K. Tolliver, 46, died Aug. 17 in Largo, Fla. Tolliver died more than a month after he first tested positive for the virus on July 10, according to an Army statement. He was the third Army Reserve soldier to die of the virus.
The soldier from California is the second member of the National Guard to die from the virus this year. In March, Army Capt. Douglas Linn Hickok, 57, was the first service member to die of the virus. He was with the New Jersey National Guard and was preparing to activate in response to the pandemic when he died.
As of Monday, 36,232 service members have been infected with the coronavirus. More than 550 have been hospitalized and more than 20,800 have recovered. The Army has reported 12,833 cases, the highest among the military services. The Navy has had 8,429 cases, the Marine Corps has had 4,532 cases and the Air Force has had 5,556 cases of the virus as of Monday, according to the Pentagon. The National Guard has also reported 4,566 cases.
The United States is the most affected country from the coronavirus pandemic. As of Monday, the United States has had more than 5.7 million cases and more than 176,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.