The US military’s number of COVID-19 cases is growing at twice the national rate and has surged a staggering 33 percent in 10 days.
Nationally, the US has recorded a coronavirus growth rate of 16 percent from July 1 to July 10, breaking daily records multiple times in that period. The military’s rate for that period was double that.
Since July 1 more than 4,100 service members have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Defense Department’s latest statistics.
In total there are over 18,016 COVID-19 cases in the military with 396 hospitalized and three deaths, according to latest data as of Monday.
The military’s number of COVID-19 rate is growing at twice the national rate seeing a 33 percent spike from July from July 1 to 10. The national case growth rate was 16 percent for that same time period. A medic with the Louisiana Army and Air National Guard conducts training at a COVID-19 drive thru testing center on March 18 in New Orleans
In total there are over 18,016 COVID-19 cases in the military with 396 hospitalized and three deaths, according to latest data as of Monday
As of Monday the Army has the highest number of cases at 5,802 infections, followed by the Navy with 4,956 cases, the Air Force with 2,599 cases, the National Guard with 2,445 cases and the Marine Corps with 1,992. Department of Defense Agencies have reported 222 cases
Within the Department of Defense there have been 23 civilian deaths, six dependent deaths, and 10 contractor fatalities. The overall number of department cases including contractors, dependents, and civilian members is 25,822.
The infection rate in the military now sits at 0.8 percent, compared to the national rate of 0.9 percent, according to the Military Times.
This is the closest the military’s infection rate has come to the general public’s in the country. It’s also double its rate recorded in mid-June.
Defense officials have attributed the rise in military cases to increased testing and to the lifting of shelter-in-place orders in some force concentration areas.
‘While we are seeing some upticks in the same places there are upticks in the civilian sector, again, that is not necessarily overly surprising, in that we have been doing more testing. And we have been doing testing of those who are asymptomatic,’ assistant defense secretary for health affairs Tom McCaffery told reporters July 1.
Defense officials have attributed the rise in military cases to increased testing and to the lifting of shelter-in-place orders in some force concentration areas. A solider gets his temperature checked on March 31
However, officials have pointed to states with resurging cases as a factor contributing to rising cases in the military.
Since July 1 through July 10 the number of coronavirus cases in the Air Force, which once boasted the lowest-per-capita infection rate among the services, has jumped 55 percent.
As of Monday there are 2,599 cases of COVID-19 in the Air Force since March.
Back in June the Marine Corps reported infections within the hundreds. Today there are 1,992 cases.
The Navy reported 4,956 cases, the National Guard 2,445, and the Army has the highest number of coronavirus infections with 5,802 cases.
The National Guard, which activated troops in response to national Black Lives Matter protests decrying police brutality, has seen lower infections overall compared to its counterparts.
It’s not clear if local commanders are enforcing strict protective protocals such as social distancing and masks for troops on and off base.
Service members are required by the Department of Defense to practice social distancing and wear face coverings on military property and off base – even in localities that don’t require masks, but it has not been regulated.
The Navy has doubled down with extra precautions banning members from a number of public places including beaches, pools, tattoo parlors, theaters, salons, spas, restaurants and bars.
Nationally there are over 3.3million cases of COVID-19 in the US and over 135,000 deaths.