Sailor Assigned to USS Wasp Dies of COVID-19, 3rd Navy Virus Death This Month

The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Wasp steams through the ocean. (Petty Officer 3rd Class David Smart/U.S. Navy)
The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Wasp steams through the ocean. (Petty Officer 3rd Class David Smart/U.S. Navy)

A sailor assigned to a Virginia-based Navy amphibious ship died of complications tied to the illness caused by the coronavirus, the service announced Friday night.

The sailor, whose name was not released pending family notification, was assigned to the amphibious assault Wasp out of Norfolk. They died on Friday, according to the Expeditionary Strike Group 2.

"We offer our condolences and join the Sailor's family, friends and shipmates in mourning the loss of this Sailor," officials with the strike group said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time."

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The sailor was admitted to Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach on Jan. 17 before being subsequently transferred to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital on Jan. 29.

Twenty-one service members have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. The Navy plans to vaccinate thousands of sailors this weekend, but the virus remains a threat, particularly aboard ships and submarines with tight quarters that make social distancing and other safety protocols difficult.

This death is the third for the Navy COVID-19 this month and the sixth since the start of the pandemic, according to service data. Chief Quartermaster Herbert Rojas, a 50-year-old staff instructor at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois, died at his off-base residence on Feb. 2.

Two days later, Information Systems Technician (Submarines) Second Class Petty Officer Cody Andrew-Godfredson Myers, 26, died of COVID-related complications. Myers was assigned to the ballistic-missile submarine Tennessee's Blue crew.

Cases across the U.S. are beginning to drop after significant spikes in cases following the winter holidays. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecast that deaths from COVID-19 could reach 540,000 by the first week of March.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

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