Analysis / Covid-19

Covid-19 Response Update: May 15-May 22

Combating Covid-19 Series

This is CSIS’s weekly roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, May 15. It explores what the military has done to combat Covid-19 and how the military has in turn been affected by the virus.

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) national role in fighting the pandemic is on the decline as civilian medical facilities can generally handle the load. Active duty and reserve deployments continue to drop from their early April highs. Deployed active duty personnel are down 40 percent to 9,600 from the peak of 16,000 and reserve personnel are down 80 percent to 820 from a peak of 4,500. National Guard activations have plateaued at about 46,000. Army Corps of Engineers is down to 26 FEMA missions (from a high of 51), is finishing planned temporary facilities, and its deployed personnel have dropped 70 percent from its peak of 2,100 to 605.

Global deployments by Navy and Coast Guard ships continue; deployments by Marine and Army units are planned but still pending. 

Defense industry is returning to normal operations but with a few facilities still closed and widespread absenteeism.

Major Updates

Military Cases of Covid-19

As of Friday, May 22, there have been 13,693 confirmed cases of coronavirus within DoD. Of the current cases, 5,959 were military service members, 1,029 dependents, 1,411 civilians, and 551 contractors. 400 of these cases required hospitalization, and there have been 32 deaths. 4,711 have recovered. How DoD cases have been trending over time is broken down below, by total cases; active cases in the DoD; and across the military services.

Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard Covid-19 Personnel Trends

Army Corps of Engineers: Covid-19 Mission and Personnel Trends

FEMA Mission Assignments: 27 open (down from a high of 51). 37 of these missions are now closed.

Alternate Care Facilities (ACFs): 37 contracts awarded, of which 32 are complete.

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

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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Cite this Page

Mark Cancian and Adam Saxton, "Covid-19 Response Update: May 15-May 22," Center for Strategic and International Studies, May 21, 2020, last modified May 21, 2020,