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Space Force vice chief tests positive for COVID-19

The second highest-ranking general in the Space Force is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19, the Air Force said Wednesday.

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a news release that the vice chief of space operations, Gen. David Thompson, took the test today after learning that a family member with whom he had been in contact had also tested positive for the coronavirus.

Thompson is working from home, in accordance with established policies, the Air Force said.

Air Force Magazine quoted Stefanek as saying Thompson has not shown symptoms so far and returned from leave on Oct. 26 and 27 to the Pentagon, where he addressed a virtual symposium by the National Defense Industrial Association and Texas A&M University.

Other top officials, including Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., and Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett have not tested positive within the past 24 hours, Stefanek told Air Force Magazine.

Thompson is the latest of the U.S. military’s top leaders to quarantine recently. Coast Guard Vice Commandant Adm. Charles Ray tested positive in early October, prompting several members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to quarantine after coming into contact with him. The Joint Chiefs members were given the OK to return to work at the Pentagon on Oct. 19.

Thompson, along with the Space Force’s top enlisted adviser, Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, appeared at the Military Entrance Processing Station in Baltimore on Oct. 20 to swear in the Space Force’s first four recruits. Thompson and all other attendees wore masks at the ceremony and limited their celebrating to elbow bumps.

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