National Guard soldier dies after testing positive for coronavirus and being hospitalized

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  • A National Guardsman from New Jersey died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus on Saturday.
  • The death marked the first time a US service member died from the disease.
  • It was not immediately clear if the service member had a preexisting medical condition.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A National Guardsman from New Jersey died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus on Saturday. The Guardsman was hospitalized since March 21.

The death marked the first time a United States service member died from the disease. It was not immediately clear if the service member had a preexisting medical condition.Advertisement

"Today is a sad day for the Department of Defense as we have lost our first American service member - active, reserve or Guard - to coronavirus," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement. "This is a stinging loss for our military community, and our condolences go out to his family, friends, civilian co-workers and the entire National Guard community.

"The news of this loss strengthens our resolve to work ever more closely with our interagency partners to stop the spread of COVID-19," Esper added.

The service member who died was identified as an active-drilling officer with the National Guard and a physician's assistant, according to WHBQ-TV.
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Service members from the New Jersey National Guard were activated by Gov. Phil Murphy on March 16, as the state enacted restrictions on non-essential businesses and public areas.

The state has over 16,635 cases and 198 deaths as of Monday afternoon. This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.Advertisement

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