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Ninth US service member killed by COVID-19

Ninth US service member killed by COVID-19
© Greg Nash

A ninth U.S. service member has been killed by the coronavirus, according to Pentagon data released Wednesday.

The death was noted in Wednesday’s update of the online chart the Pentagon maintains of COVID-19 cases connected to the department.

Spokespeople at the Pentagon and National Guard Bureau said the service member was a Texas Air National Guardsman. Texas National Guard spokesperson Lt. Col. Rita Holton declined to identify the individual "in the interest of protecting the privacy of the member’s family," but did confirm the service member was not in a duty status at the time of death.

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The newly revealed death is the military’s first COVID-19 death since late September, when a 48-year-old reservist from Kentucky died.

Of the identified service members who have been killed by the coronavirus, five have been reservists.

Two other deaths before Wednesday's were also guardsmen.

So far, just one active-duty service member has been identified as a COVID-19 death. 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 86,735 cases of COVID-19 connected to the department, according to Wednesday’s figures.

That includes 58,968 cases among service members, 39,012 of whom have recovered and 755 of whom have been hospitalized over the course of the pandemic.

There have also been 13,714 cases among civilians, 8,597 cases among dependents and 5,456 cases among contractors. There have been 68 civilian deaths, eight dependent deaths and 26 contractor deaths, according to Wednesday’s chart.

Updated at 6:22 p.m. Nov. 6.