Navy boot camp instructor dies of COVID-19

Navy boot camp instructor dies of COVID-19
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A 50-year-old Navy boot camp instructor has died of COVID-19, the service announced Friday.

Chief Quartermaster Herbert Rojas, of Richmond Hill, N.Y., died Tuesday in his off-base residence, the Navy said in a statement.

Rojas was assigned to Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, based in Great Lakes, Ill., as a staff instructor.

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“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and shipmate Chief Rojas, and we will continue supporting his family and friends during this time of grief,” said Capt. Erik Thors, commanding officer at Recruit Training Command.

Rojas’s death brings the military’s overall death toll due to the coronavirus to 21 service members. In addition to Rojas, four active-duty service members have died, including a Navy sailor assigned to the USS Tennessee ballistic missile submarine who also died this week.

In addition to the active-duty deaths, eight guardsmen and eight reservists have died from COVID-19.

Overall, the Pentagon has reported 225,753 coronavirus cases as of Wednesday, according to a chart the department maintains on its website.

The total cases reported Wednesday include 143,272 in the military, 45,106 among civilians, 23,034 among dependents and 14,341 among contractors.

Among military cases, 1,346 service members have been hospitalized over the course of the pandemic and 95,649 have recovered.

In addition to the military deaths, there have been 164 civilian deaths, nine dependent deaths and 60 contractor deaths, according to the Pentagon data.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, the Defense Department has received 921,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccine and has administered 530,849 of those. That includes 85,122 people have gotten the full two-dose regimen, according to the CDC.