Seventh US service member dies from COVID-19

Seventh US service member dies from COVID-19
© Greg Nash

A seventh U.S. service member has been killed by the coronavirus, according to the latest Pentagon data.

The death was first noted in Wednesday’s update of the chart the Pentagon keeps on its website of numbers of COVID-19 cases connected to the department.

On Thursday, the Army Reserve identified the service member as Sgt. 1st Class Clifford R. Gooding, 58, of Gulfport, Fla.

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Gooding died Friday after first testing positive for the virus June 23, Army Reserve spokesman Lt. Col. Simon Flake said in a statement.

After he tested positive, Gooding was admitted to a hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. As his conditioned worsened, Gooding was transferred to the Largo Medical Center in Largo, Fla., where he stayed until he died, Flake said.

Gooding was in the Army for 27 years, 24 of which were in the Army Reserve, according to Flake. His last assignment was as the maintenance supervisor for the 301st Field Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Gooding is the fourth member of the Army Reserve to die from COVID-19.

His death follows the Aug. 20 death of a 36-year-old staff sergeant in the California National Guard.

The military’s first COVID-19 death in March also came from the National Guard: a 57-year-old New Jersey Guardsman.

So far, one of the military’s coronavirus deaths has come from someone on active duty. Navy Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr., a 41-year-old aviation ordnanceman, died in April after being one of more than 1,000 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier who contracted the virus.

In total, the Pentagon has reported 55,705 cases of COVID-19 connected to the department, according to Wednesday’s figures.

That includes 38,424 cases among service members, 23,011 of whom have recovered and 575 of whom have been hospitalized over the course of the pandemic.

There have also been 8,509 cases among civilians, 5,133 cases among dependents and 3,639 cases among contractors. There have been 50 civilian deaths, seven dependent deaths and 20 contractor deaths, according to Wednesday’s chart.

--Updated at 12:52 p.m.