Army Reservist Is 3rd Service Member to Die from COVID-19

Soldiers with the Delaware Army National Guard
Soldiers with the Delaware Army National Guard talk during a food bank distribution mission at Sussex Central High School in Georgetown, Delaware, May 18, 2020. (U.S. Army National Guard photo/Brendan Mackie)

An Army reservist died from the novel coronavirus over the Memorial Day weekend, becoming the third U.S. military member to fall victim to the pandemic.

Pentagon officials said Tuesday that they are preparing to issue more details on the service member's death, which was noted on the COVID-19 fact sheet the DoD issues each business day.

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A Defense Department official later confirmed that the service member was an Army Reserve soldier who had not been activated at the time of death.

The death is the first of a U.S. service member from the virus since April 13, when Aviation Ordnanceman Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr. passed away after being hospitalized. He was assigned to the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, which experienced an outbreak of more than 1,000 cases.

Army National Guard member Capt. Douglas Linn Hickok, a physician assistant and member of the New Jersey Guard, died March 28, the first U.S. service member killed by the coronavirus.

Two civilian Defense Department employees also died from COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the total number of DoD deaths to 35, according to the department.

The deaths follow an uptick last week in COVID-19 deaths across the department: Two DoD civilian employees, two contractors and one dependent died, the first deaths recorded by the department since late April.

As of Monday, the DoD has had 9,173 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, including 6,118 among the active duty -- an increase of 159 cases over the weekend. Four more active-duty patients were hospitalized over the weekend, bringing the total to 165 service members admitted for treatment for COVID-19, according to the DoD.

The Navy continues to have the highest number of cases among the services, at 2,376. The Army has had 1,315 cases; the Air Force, 475; the Marine Corps, 543; and the National Guard Bureau, 1,278.

During a visit to U.S. Northern Command earlier this month, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the military is preparing for a possible second wave of the coronavirus.

"We are preparing for a second wave and maybe more," he said.

This story will be updated.

-- Patricia Kime can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @patriciakime.

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