California Guardsman is 6th US Military Member to Die from COVID-19

The silhouette of a soldier as he runs to the turnaround point of a 12 mile ruck march.
The silhouette of a soldier as he runs to the turnaround point of a 12 mile ruck march. (U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Alex Ramos)

A sixth service member and second National Guardsman has died from COVID-19, according to U.S. military and California National Guard officials.

The death was first reported Monday Monday in its routine statistics report.

A spokesman for the California National Guard confirmed the death, which occurred Aug. 20.

According to Lt. Col. Jonathan Shiroma, chief of public affairs for the California Military Department, the 36-year-old Guardsman, a staff sergeant, was assigned to the 40th Combat Aviation Brigade in Fresno.

The family has requested that the soldier’s name and personal information be withheld.

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The death is the second reported in the U.S. military in a week: Master Sgt. Brian Tolliver, 46, a member of the Army Reserve Medical Command at Pinellas Park, Florida, died Aug. 17 following a five-week battle with the virus.

Since the first service member tested positive for COVID-19 Feb. 26, three Army Reserve soldiers, an Army National Guardsman and a U.S. sailor have died. More than 36,000 troops have contracted the illness since February, including 12,833 Army soldiers, 4,532 Marines, 8429 Navy sailors, 5,556 Air Force airmen and 4,566 Air or Army National Guard members.

Fifty civilian DoD employees have died, as well as seven dependents and 16 military contractors, according to the Pentagon.

Across the U.S., there have been more than 5.7 million cases and 176,927 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, more than 23 million cases have been recorded, with 809,843 confirmed deaths.

This story was updated Aug. 25 to include details of the service member’s rank and unit.

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

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