A Navy medical officer and a reservist have died of COVID-19 in the past week, the service confirmed Wednesday.
Navy Reserve Master-at-Arms 1st Class Allen Hillman, 47, died Monday while hospitalized due to COVID-19-related complications, according to a Navy statement.
The Boise, Idaho, native was assigned to the Navy Reserve Volunteer Training Unit in Boise.
“He was a big part of our community here in Boise,” Cmdr. Megan Fine, the commanding officer of the Navy’s Operational Support Center in Boise, said in a statement. “We will continue to support his family and shipmates during this difficult time.”
And on Friday, Capt. Corby Ropp died at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, due to COVID complications, according to the Navy.
Ropp, a 48-year-old doctor originally of Swansboro, North Carolina, was assigned to the Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He served there as the head of ophthalmology and refractive surgery, according to the Navy.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Capt. Ropp’s family, coworkers and friends during this extremely difficult time,” the unit’s commanding officer, Capt. Reginald Ewing, said in a statement.
Citing medical privacy laws, Navy officials declined to say whether either man was vaccinated.
Officials told Navy Times Wednesday that 10 sailors have died of COVID.
The Navy’s COVID site no longer posts service-specific information regarding COVID cases and deaths.
Nearly 80 percent of the active-duty fleet is now fully vaccinated, according to Defense Department and Navy data.
The number of COVID deaths in the military stood at 26 as of July 21, according to the DoD.
Hillman and Ropps’ deaths come as parts of the nation are seeing a surge in COVID infections and hospitalizations, a wave largely attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus.
While the current COVID vaccines are effective against severe illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended this week that even vaccinated people wear masks in crowded indoor settings in areas where Delta is widespread.
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 email@example.com.