The US military reported a record high number of Covid-19 cases in one day, with 1,314 new cases on Tuesday, according to a US defense official familiar with the latest statistics from the Defense Department.
There are currently about 25,000 cases in the ranks and another 44,390 service members have recovered from coronavirus, according to the Pentagon. The increase in military cases has been taking place over the last few weeks as cases have also increased in the general population.
A US defense official told CNN that the US military has a positivity rate of 6.8%, compared to a 9.98% positivity rate in the civilian population. The military has claimed since the beginning of the pandemic that it can maintain a lower positivity rate because the military has a younger, healthier population without the co-morbidities. It also can mandate restrictions in a way the civilian world can’t.
Some context: This comes as several military bases across the country have had to once again tighten health measures to protect the force and military families.
In the Air Force, since Nov. 10, some 10 installations have instituted stronger measures known as Health Protection Condition Level Charlie just one step below the most stringent level.
While commanders can make detailed decisions about their bases, under this Charlie measure, schools, daycare and community activities may be canceled, there will be travel restrictions and more personnel may be ordered to work from home. In addition, family activities may be restricted to homes for a prolonged period of time.
The impact is being felt at installations across the country and around the world.