Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro is working from home this week after testing positive for COVID-19 Monday morning.

In a brief statement, Del Toro said he returned from official travel on Friday, and that his most recent negative tests had been on Jan. 21 and Friday.

He has mild, cold-like symptoms, according to his spokesman, Navy Capt. Jereal Dorsey.

Del Toro said he will quarantine for at least the next five days in accordance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and will attend meetings and discussions virtually when necessary.

He also delegated Acting Undersecretary of the Navy, Meredith Berger, to represent him at in-person obligations.

“I am grateful to be fully vaccinated and to have received the booster shot in October as I know my symptoms could be far worse,” Del Toro said. “We must continue to vaccinate our naval forces and look out for our physical health as we finish the fight against COVID.”

Del Toro was visiting Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, last Friday, according to public imagery released from the visit.

Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark Milley, and Gen. David Berger, the Marine Corps Commandant, all tested positive for COVID and followed the same quarantine and remote-working protocol.

All three leaders have since returned to their in-person duties.

COVID vaccines reduce the chances of infection, serious illness or death from the virus, according to the CDC.

“Most people who get COVID-19 are unvaccinated,” the agency states. “However, since vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing infection, some people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19.”

Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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