A Virginia-based petty officer died Sunday of COVID-19-related complications, becoming at least the 13th sailor to die from the novel coronavirus.
Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class Ryan L. Crosby, 39, received a positive COVID test result on Aug. 26 and was admitted to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth on Sept. 8, according to Lt. Cmdr. Laura Stegherr, a spokeswoman for Carrier Strike Group 4.
Crosby was transferred to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital the following day, and that was where he died, she said.
Crosby was assigned to Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Atlantic.
Stegherr declined to say whether Crosby was vaccinated, citing medical privacy laws.
Crosby is at least the 47th COVID-related military death. Prior to his death, a Pentagon spokesman last week said no fully vaccinated troops had died of COVID-19.
The number of servicemember COVID deaths has increased in the past two months. In mid-July, there had been 26 deaths, the first of which came in March 2020. As of Wednesday, 20 more troops had died, as SARS-CoV-2′s delta variant continued its spread.
With COVID vaccination now mandatory throughout the military, sailors and Marines have until the end of November to get their jab.
The Navy has led all services in vaccination rates, with roughly 90 percent of the fleet fully vaccinated as of Wednesday, according to U.S. Defense Department data.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.