11th National Guardsman dies of COVID-19

Nov. 20 (UPI) — The death of a soldier in Hawaii this week is the U.S. National Guard’s 11th death from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pentagon noted in its Friday update.

The Department of Defense also attributed 119 overall military deaths to the pandemic — 72 Defense Department civilian workers, eight dependents and 28 contractors to the pandemic.

The Hawaii Air National Guardsman was not identified, but the Hawaiian Department of Defense Office of the Adjutant General said he was 52, a part-time reservist assigned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam and tested positive for COVID-19 last week. He died on Sunday.

“Sadly, the Hawaii National Guard lost a member of our ‘ohana [family] and our heartfelt condolences and thoughts of Aloha are with the family and friends during this very difficult time,” Maj. Gen. Kenneth S. Hara, Adjutant General said on Tuesday.

“This personal loss reminds us that Hawaii needs everyone to comply with safe practices to prevent further spread of this deadly disease,” Hara said.

The Pentagon update on Friday said the U.S. military has seen 108,562 cases of the virus, including 8,572 within the various deployed units of the National Guard.

It was reported on Thursday that nearly one-quarter of about 300 sailors assigned to the USS Michael Murphy, a guided missile destroyer in the Navy’s Pacific Fleet, tested positive for COVID-19.

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