The chief of the National Guard Bureau, Army Gen. Dan Hokanson, tested positive for COVID-19 this week, according to a brief Friday afternoon statement.

“The Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Dan Hokanson, is working remotely and isolating himself from contact with others, after a positive COVID-19 test this week,” said Guard spokesman Wayne V. Hall in the statement. “All other members of the National Guard Bureau staff are continuing with their duties under the existing COVID protocols, and all continue to be tested, as required.”

Hall did not immediately respond to follow-up questions sent by Military Times.

Hokanson was appointed to his current position in August 2020, when he received his fourth star.

Pentagon data shows that there have been 77 service member deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic. There have been more than 254,000 reported COVID-19 cases among uniformed personnel and 2,291 hospitalizations.

Military Times previously reported in mid-November that there have been more than 40,000 COVID-19 cases in the National Guard.

In September, the Defense Department implemented a vaccination mandate for all service members.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also issued a memo Nov. 30 stating that Guardsmen who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 won’t be eligible for any federal training or pay, which includes monthly drill weekends.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

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