Analysis / Forces

Covid-19 Response Update: August 21-August 28

Combating Covid-19 Series

This is CSIS’s weekly roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, August 21. It explores what the military has done to combat Covid-19 and how the military has in turn been affected by the virus.

New DoD cases of Covid-19 are continuing to decline this week with the 7-day average falling by 23 percent since last Friday to 412 new cases. Average new cases have been steadily declining since late July. Deaths again rose by three this past week to reach a total of 80, including another military service member. A total of six military service members have now died from Covid-19.

Major Updates:

  • August 24: The Army, with FDA approval, has used convalescent plasma to treat 14 people, including two active-duty service members, who were hospitalized with Covid-19.
  • August 26: Thousands of US troops completed the annual Saber Junction exercise in Germany without a single positive case of Covid-19.
  • August 27: Nine Democratic Senators wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper demanding more details about how the Pentagon is protecting troops from Covid-19.

Military Cases of Covid-19

How DoD cases have been trending over time is broken down below, by new cases; total cases; active cases in the DoD; and across the military services.

Methodological note: 1) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday totals are divided across the intervening days and weekends since DoD Covid-19 updates are only released during the work week on a M-W-F basis. 2) Adjustments were made on April 9 and April 15 when new cases where negative. These days were totaled and divided by the previous day to account for the correction. 3) DoD appeared to change the way cases were reported between April 15-Aprilt 16. A resulting spike in cases on April 16 was divided over the two prior days to account for this methodological shift.

This weekly update is made possible by the International Security Program at CSIS.

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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Mark Cancian, Adam Saxton and Nidal Morrison, "Covid-19 Response Update: August 21-August 28," Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 28, 2020, last modified August 28, 2020, https://defense360.csis.org/covid-19-response-update-august-21-august-28/.