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Army reservist dies in Largo of COVID-19 complications

Master Sgt. Brian K. Tolliver was hospitalized a day after testing positive in July. He is one of a handful of U.S. service members to die of the disease.

Master Sgt. Brian K. Tolliver, 46, with the Army Reserve Medical Command based in Pinellas Park, died on Monday from complications related to COVID-19, according to a news release.

He is among a handful of U.S. service members to die of the disease since the pandemic started, according to Department of Defense statistics.

Tolliver, who last served as the command’s paralegal, tested positive for COVID-19 on July 10 and was admitted the following day to Largo Medical Center, where he stayed until his death.

“We feel a tremendous loss in our military family with the passing of Master Sgt. Tolliver,” Maj. Gen. Jonathan Woodson, senior officer of the command, said in a statement. “COVID-19 has taken a dedicated soldier from our formation, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

There is no concern of Tolliver having infected other reservists, according to Col. Meritt Phillips, spokeswoman for the command. She added that the command has been following U.S. Army guidelines in protecting reservists from the spread of the virus, including maximizing telework where possible.

As of Friday, the Department of Defense had reported five COVID-19 deaths among service members, with more than 35,000 cases overall. More than 12,000 of those service members are in the U.S. Army.

Tolliver served in the Army for 25 years, 13 with the Army Reserve. He received numerous awards in his honorable service including the Meritorious Service Medal.

“Master Sgt. Tolliver was a tremendous mentor, leader, soldier, and one of the finest human beings I have ever met,” Lt. Col. T. Scott Randall, Tolliver’s immediate supervisor, said in a statement. “He will be sorely missed by all.”

Tolliver, from Memphis, Tenn., is survived by his three children, who live in Louisville, Ky.

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