Analysis / Forces

Covid-19 Response Update: October 2-October 9

Combating Covid-19 Series

This is CSIS’s weekly roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, October 2. 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 have risen this week with the 7-day average up by 17 percent over the previous week. This upward tick in new DoD cases of Covid-19 tracks the gradual rise of new cases in the broader U.S. population. Deaths again rose by two this week, reaching 99 as of this Friday, October 9.

Major Updates

  • October 2: The Navy updated its guidance for how ships should operate amid a pandemic, incorporating lessons learned from earlier Covid-19 outbreaks on ships.
  • October 2: Top House lawmakers are investigating whether DoD used its $1 billion in coronavirus relief funds to pay defense contractors rather than buy medical supplies.
  • October 5: To prevent the spread of Covid-19, the Navy will continue its new practice of longer deployments with fewer port calls.
  • October 6: After a senior Coast Guard official tested positive for Covid-19, all but one of the joint chiefs of staff are in isolation at home.

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: October 2-October 9," Center for Strategic and International Studies, October 9, 2020, last modified October 9, 2020, https://defense360.csis.org/covid-19-response-update-october-2-october-9/.