A Marine assigned to the service’s headquarters office at the Pentagon has tested positive for COVID-19, a Marine Corps spokesman confirmed to Military Times Wednesday, becoming the first service member assigned to the Defense Department’s home base to contract coronavirus.
The Marine tested positive March 24, Capt. Joseph Butterfield told Military Times, after a period of isolation spurred by symptoms in his wife.
“Once he became ill, he contacted his assigned medical facility,” Butterfield said. “His workspace has been cleaned by a Pentagon response team and a thorough contact investigation is underway to mitigate risk and preserve the health of our Marines, civilians, and families.”
Word of the diagnosis circulated in a read-out of a Monday briefing to senior Pentagon staff, Defense One first reported. Roughly 29,000 troops, civilians and contractors work out of the building.
The Marine is an officer, according to a Defense official who was not able to release details on the record.
He will remain in home isolation with follow-up from doctors, Butterfield said.
The case comes a week after the Air Force announced that one of its troops, who works at the Defense Health Agency in Falls Church, Virginia, but visited the Pentagon earlier in May, had been diagnosed with COVID-19. An Air Force contractor working at the Pentagon has also been diagnosed.
On Saturday, a different DoD contractor died of the disease, several weeks after an an initial diagnoses.
As of Wednesday morning, DoD had reported 453 cases among service members, civilians, dependents and contractors, 227 of which are troops.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.