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Coast Guard Vice Commandant Tests Positive for COVID-19

Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Charles Ray tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday after feeling mild symptoms over the weekend, the Coast Guard said today.

The Washington Post reported that Ray was at the White House on Sept. 27 for an event with Gold Star families. The Pentagon said Ray was there last week “for meetings with other senior military leaders.”

“Some meeting attendees included other service chiefs,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement. “We are conducting additional contact tracing and taking appropriate precautions to protect the force and the mission. Out of an abundance of caution, all potential contacts from these meetings are self-quarantining and have been tested this morning. No Pentagon contacts have exhibited symptoms and we have no additional positive tests to report at this time.”

Hoffman said military readiness is not affected and “senior military leaders are able to remain fully mission capable and perform their duties from an alternative work location.”

“DoD has been following CDC guidelines since April with regard to temperature testing, social distancing, and the wearing of masks to the greatest extent when social distancing is not possible and will continue to do so,” he said.

In accordance with established Coast Guard COVID policies, Ray will be quarantining from home.

“The Coast Guard is following established policies for COVID, per CDC guidelines, to include quarantine and contact tracing. According to CDC guidelines, any Coast Guard personnel that were in close contact will also quarantine,” USCG said.

“Since April, the Coast Guard has been following CDC, DoD and DHS guidelines for temperature testing, social distancing to the greatest extent possible, and the wearing of masks when social distancing is not possible,” the service added. “The Coast Guard remains ready to ensure our Nation’s maritime safety, security and stewardship.”

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Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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