Analysis / Covid-19

Covid-19 Response Update: March 26-April 2

Combating Covid-19 Series

This is CSIS’s weekly roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, March 26. 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 increased slightly over the past week, with the 7-day average increasing by 1.4 percent to 658 new cases as of April 2. DoD new cases have increased over the past two weeks, which remains largely consistent with similar trends in the broader U.S. population. Deaths rose by 5 this past week, reaching 330 as of Friday, April 2. 

Major Updates

  • March 26: Director of the Defense Health Agency Lieutenant General Ronald J. Place stated that the DoD expects vaccines to be available to all eligible populations before May 1 and that “the department will be vaccinated” by “the middle of July.”
  • March 29: Military Times reports that vaccine rates among servicemen are increasing as many individuals who initially were hesitant to receive the Covid-19 vaccine are now volunteering to be vaccinated. This comes after Major General Jeff Taliaferro announced last month that just two-thirds of troops elected to receive the vaccine when first offered.
  • March 30: The Coast Guard announced that more than two-thirds of its total workforce has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • April 1: The U.S. 5th Fleet announced that it has vaccinated nearly 13,000 personnel after the fleet experienced large outbreaks on the USS San Diego and USS Philippine Sea in February.

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)


Cite this Page

William Healzer, Adam Saxton and Mark Cancian, "Covid-19 Response Update: March 26-April 2," Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 2, 2021, last modified April 2, 2021,