The spouse of a soldier assigned to Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia has died from what are believed to have been coronavirus complications, a base official confirmed.
The spouse, whose identity is being withheld, died at a hospital in Newport News, said joint base commander Air Force Col. Clint Ross.
The soldier, meanwhile, also tested positive for the virus and remains in isolation while continuing to receive medical care.
“Our hearts are heavy. I extend my deepest condolences to the friends and family of our lost teammate,” Ross said in a statement.
“My thoughts also remain with those who continue to fight this invisible enemy. I ask you to support each other during this difficult time, while we continue to work together to mitigate the impacts across the installation.”
In his statement, Ross urged personnel to "take this viral threat seriously. Your health and safety are my highest priority.”
Virginia health officials reported 461 cases in the state on Thursday, with 65 of them requiring hospitalization.
The vast majority of cases have occurred in the Northern Virginia region, which includes areas like Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington — places many service members with assignments in the Washington, D.C., region call home.
Fort Eustis is a 2.5-hour drive south, in a beachside community near Norfolk Naval Station.
The Army has confirmed a total of 288 positive cases of coronavirus out of about 5,000 tests that have been administered to its personnel, the Army surgeon general said Thursday. That number includes 100 soldiers, 65 dependents, 64 civilian employees, 50 contractors and 9 cadets.
“My leadership team and our mission partners are working tirelessly to ensure the health and well-being of our community is at the forefront of all of our decisions," Ross said.
"It is important we all work together to flatten the curve.”
Kyle Rempfer was an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.