A National Guardsman from New Jersey died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus on Saturday. The Guardsman was hospitalized since March 21.

The death marked the first time a United States service member died from the disease. It was not immediately clear if the service member had a preexisting medical condition.

"Today is a sad day for the Department of Defense as we have lost our first American service member active, reserve or Guard to coronavirus," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement. "This is a stinging loss for our military community, and our condolences go out to his family, friends, civilian co-workers and the entire National Guard community.

"The news of this loss strengthens our resolve to work ever more closely with our interagency partners to stop the spread of COVID-19," Esper added.

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