The U.S. Navy identified a submarine petty officer who died of COVID Thursday as Information Systems Technician (Submarines) 2nd Class Cody Andrew-Godfredson Myers.
The 26-year-old Washington native was assigned to the blue crew of the Georgia-based ballistic missile submarine Tennessee and is one of two active-duty sailors to die this week after contracting the novel coronavirus.
Myers had been placed in quarantine on Jan. 18 as a precaution after close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, Naval Submarine Forces said Friday in a statement.
“Sailors who may have been in contact with Myers have been notified already and have taken the appropriate precautions,” the command said.
Officials did not immediately respond to further questions Friday evening.
Tennessee sailors are being supported by chaplains and embedded mental health specialists at Georgia’s Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family, shipmates and friends of Petty Officer Myers during this extremely difficult time,” SUBFOR said in their statement.
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Myers was admitted to the hospital aboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, Saturday, and transferred to the intensive care unit at the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital on Sunday, where he tested positive for COVID-19.
He died in the ICU Thursday, the command said.
The Navy also announced Friday that Chief Quartermaster Herbert Rojas, a 50-year-old staff instructor at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois, died Tuesday at his home of COVID-related complications.
Lt. Cmdr. Phil Chitty, a spokesman for Naval Service Training Command, said Rojas had recently tested positive but was asymptomatic at the time of his positive test.
Chitty declined to say when Rojas was tested, but said it was part of “sentinel surveillance testing” for all Recruit Training Command staff members.
RTC’s surveillance involves randomly testing 10 percent of RTC staff each week, with all staff being tested over a 10-week period, Chitty said.
The source of Rojas’ infection remains unknown, Chitty said, but “a contact tracing investigation was done to identify anyone at Recruit Training Command with possible contact.”
“The priority with contact tracing is containing a potential spread of COVID-19,” he added.
Chitty said Rojas’ contracting of the virus is not believed to be connected to any other outbreak among staff or recruits at Great Lakes.
At least 21 servicemembers have died from COVID-19, according to a Pentagon tally of cases and deaths.
About Geoff Ziezulewicz
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.