Army Reservist 7th COVID-19 service member fatality

Elizabeth Howe
September 03, 2020 - 2:33 pm
Sgt. First Class Clifford R. Gooding

US Army

The Pentagon reported Wednesday that a seventh service member has died from complications related to COVID-19. 

Sgt. First Class Clifford Gooding, 58, from Gulfport, Florida died Friday, August 28, in Largo, Florida from complications related to COVID-19. Gooding served in the Army for 27 years, 24 years with the Army Reserve. In his last assignment, Gooding served as the maintenance supervisor for the 301st Field Hospital in Saint Petersburg, Florida. 

He initially tested positive for COVID-19 on June 23 and was treated at Palms of Pasadena Hospital in Saint Petersburg, Florida until his condition worsened and he was moved to Largo Medical Center. 

Gooding is survived by his wife and children.

Gooding's death is the fourth service member COVID-19 death in as many weeks after months of the Pentagon reporting no new service member fatalities. 

A California National Guardsman whose identity was not released died of COVID-19 on August 25. Army Reserve Medical Command Master Sgt. Brian Tolliver, 46, died August 17 after a five-week fight with COVID-19 at the Largo Medical Center in Largo, Florida. Spc. Curtis Fort, 61, an Army reservist from Virginia was added to the COVID-19 deaths chart on August 3. 

Of the seven total service members killed by the virus, six were National Guard or Reserve component troops. The one active-duty service member was a sailor aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt which garnered national media attention for its outbreak for weeks. 

Overall, after holding steady for the first few months of the pandemic, DoD COVID-19 deaths almost doubled in the month of July. 

As of Wednesday, the DoD had reported 55,705 total COVID-19 cases across the force. The vast majority of these cases -- as has been the case since the very beginning of the pandemic -- are among service members. More than 38,400 service members from every branch have been confirmed as COVID-19 positive. 

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Reach Elizabeth Howe on Twitter @ECBHowe.

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