Analysis / Covid-19

Covid-19 Response Update: October 9-October 16

Combating Covid-19 Series

This is CSIS’s weekly roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, October 9. 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 this week with the 7-day average decreasing by 13 percent over the previous week. However, significant spikes in cases on October 9th and this Friday indicate that it is still too early to tell if the downturn will continue.  Deaths rose by one this week to reach 100 as of this Friday, October 16.

Major Updates

  • October 10: The Navy suddenly closed schools, churches, and gyms at its base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba due to coronavirus concerns. 
  • October 13: Army weapons factories expect to maintain social distancing measures into the next year, even if a coronavirus vaccine is available by the end of 2020. These measures, such as wearing masks and keeping workers farther apart, can also help prevent the spread of more common illnesses, like the flu.
  • October 15: Several cases of Covid-19 among students forced the Defense Department’s Stuttgart High School (Germany) to shut down in-person instruction. This school closure comes amid the rapid increase of Covid-19 cases in Germany.
  • October 15: The new US rotational brigade has arrived in South Korea, with all personnel required to undergo testing and a 14-day quarantine.
  • October 15: The Army, Navy, and Marine Corps largely met their recruiting goals, even after the Covid-19 pandemic forced the services’ recruiting efforts to be 100 percent remote. A weakening economy likely helped with recruitment.

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

Mark Cancian, Adam Saxton and Nidal Morrison, "Covid-19 Response Update: October 9-October 16," Center for Strategic and International Studies, October 16, 2020, last modified October 16, 2020,