Analysis / Forces

Covid-19 Response Update: July 3-July 10

Combating Covid-19 Series

This is CSIS’s weekly roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, July 3. 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 jumped over the Fourth of July weekend and again this Friday. The 7-day average of new cases is at 785 this Friday, up from 625 this past Thursday when DoD last released it’s case numbers. That is a 26 percent increase in new cases this week. Army still has the most cases and continues to lead in new cases. Deaths continue to rise slowly, up to 41 from last week’s 38.

These rising case numbers continue to reflect the broader rise of Covid-19 in the U.S. population. However, despite increasing cases nationwide, DoD has not reactivated its support to civilian hospitals that it provided in the previous case spikes in March and April. Apart from some remaining National Guard activations, DoD efforts appear to be focused on research to find a vaccine.

Major Updates:

  • July 5: The Air Force evacuated 12 Covid-19 patients to Ramstein Air Base using a transport module, called the ‘Negatively Pressurized Conex’, that was specifically designed for transporting Covid-19 patients.
  • July 6: An American woman in Germany faces a fine of up to 25,000 euros after hundreds of people, including US service members, attended her 4th of July party in violation of local coronavirus restrictions.
  • July 6: 5,500 soldiers with the Army’s 25th Infantry Division will participate in the annual Lightning Force exercises in Oahu, Hawaii, marking the division’s first large-scale training since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • July 6: Air Force reserve medics who were deployed to New York to support Covid-19 relief efforts are coming out of quarantine after returning to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
  • July 7: After several individuals tested positive for the coronavirus, the US military ordered personnel at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa to shelter in place.
  • July 7: Another staff member of the Child Development Center at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia has tested positive for Covid-19. 
  • July 7: The Navy and Marine Corps looked into extending its Covid-19 prevention measures for basic training into next year. The measures, which include a two week restricted movement requirement, is  costly. Company sizes have also been reduced, leading to  fewer recruits in training camp.
  • July 8: Despite imposing new restrictions on recruits due to the coronavirus pandemic, both the Navy and the Marine Corps have not altered their training standards and recruits are receiving the same training they would under normal circumstances.

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: July 3-July 10," Center for Strategic and International Studies, July 10, 2020, last modified July 10, 2020, https://defense360.csis.org/covid-19-response-update-july-3-july-10/.