Analysis / Covid-19

Covid-19 Response Update: February 5-February 12

Combating Covid-19 Series

This is CSIS’s weekly roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, February 5. It explores what the military has done to combat Covid-19 and how the military has in turn been affected by the virus.

New Department of Defense (DoD) cases of Covid-19 declined over the past week, with the 7-day average decreasing by 40 percent to 937 new cases as of February 12. This sharp decline follows the U.S. population and indicates that DoD new cases are on a downward trend after the third and largest wave of new cases that peaked this past January. Deaths rose by 21 this past week, reaching 277 as of this Friday, February 12.  

Major Updates

  • February 10: Recent data indicates that seniors living in nursing homes run by the Department of Veterans Affairs, as compared to non-Veteran Affairs nursing homes, are 13 times less likely to die from Covid-19 and half as likely to contract the virus.
  • February 10: A new report from DoD’s Inspector General found that, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the Navy had not been properly following existing procedures to reduce the impact of infectious diseases. For example, the report found that “four out of five Navy Component Commands did not conduct a biennial Pandemic Influenza & Infectious Disease exercise in accordance with the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) requirements.” The report also highlighted poor decisions aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt that contributed to the infamous outbreak on the carrier last spring.
  • February 11: The Army is deploying 222 personnel to assist with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) vaccination center in Los Angeles. This is one of the five teams that was previously approved by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last week to assist with vaccination centers in the United States.

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)