Sailor Assigned to Assault Craft Unit Dies of COVID-19 3 Days After Diagnosis



The Navy has lost a fourth sailor to the global pandemic in the last 20 days after a Virginia-based sailor died of the illness caused by the coronavirus on Monday.

The sailor, assigned to Assault Craft Unit 4 out of Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, died three days after being diagnosed with COVID-19, the service announced on Tuesday. The sailor’s identity was not released, pending family notification.

The sailor was admitted to Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk on Saturday after testing positive for the virus a day before. Navy officials say the sailor died of “COVID-related complications.”

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“We mourn the loss of our shipmate; our thoughts and prayers are with the Sailor’s family, friends and coworkers during this difficult time,” officials said in a Tuesday statement.

Those who had contact with the sailor have been notified and are taking appropriate precautions, the news release adds.

More than 500,000 Americans have died during the coronavirus pandemic. This is the seventh sailor to die of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and fourth just this month.

Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, the Navy’s surgeon general, told reporters on Friday that the sailors who died of the virus this month were likely exposed to the illness in their communities since they weren’t deployed when they became ill.

Aviation Support Equipment Technician 1st Class Marcglenn Orcullo, who was assigned to the amphibious assault ship Wasp, died of COVID-19 Feb. 12. The 42-year-old from Hawaii tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 17.

Information Systems Technician (Submarines) Second Class Petty Officer Cody Andrew-Godfredson Myers, a 26-year-old member of the ballistic-missile submarine Tennessee’s Blue crew, died of COVID-related complications Feb. 4.

Chief Quartermaster Herbert Rojas, a 50-year-old staff instructor at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois, died of the virus at his off-base residence Feb. 2.

At least 22 U.S. troops have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Defense Department. Nearly 160,000 troops have tested positive for the virus across the services.

— Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

Related: Navy IDs 3rd Sailor to Die from COVID-19 This Month

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