Analysis / Forces

Covid-19 Response Update: October 23-October 30

Combating Covid-19 Series

This is CSIS’s weekly roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, October 23. 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 slightly this week with the 7-day average decreasing by 3 percent over the previous week to 703. After last week’s 98 percent increase, it is too soon to determine whether the slight decline represents a plateauing of new cases or a pause towards a new peak. This Friday’s case numbers were among the highest in weeks. Deaths rose by five this week to reach 108 as of this Friday, October 30.

Major Updates

  • October 27: The Army is confident its health precautions will limit the spread of Covid-19 at basic training locations, even as the US saw a 40 percent increase in hospitalized coronavirus patients last month. 
  • October 29: As Europe faces a surge in Covid-19 cases, 28 National Guard medical personnel are heading to Poland and the Czech Republic to support buckling health care systems.
  • October 30: Due to the ongoing pandemic, an Army National Guard unit created to manage responses to a nuclear strike has instead shifted its focus to Covid-19.

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 23-October 30," Center for Strategic and International Studies, October 30, 2020, last modified October 30, 2020, https://defense360.csis.org/covid-19-response-update-october-23-october-30/.