As cases of the potentially deadly COVID-19 spike around the country, the Marine Corps has decided to waive the Combat Fitness Test, or CFT, requirements for Marines for the rest of 2020.

Marines who already have taken the CFT in 2020 will have their scores entered into the system and count as normal, Capt. Sam Stephenson, a spokesman for Marine Corps Training and Education Command told Marine Corps Times.

“CFTs are still authorized as part of periods of instruction at recruit training, Officer Candidate School, The Basic School, and any other formal schools to include other service schools,” Stephenson added.

The suspension will affect less than half of the Marine Corps, with 51 percent having completed the annual CFT requirement by Nov. 27, Stephenson said.

The cancellation does not apply to Marines who have taken the CFT in 2020 and failed it.

“Marines who failed the CY 2020 CFT prior to the publishing of this MARADMIN are required to retake the CFT to achieve a passing score,” an administrative message said.

Taping Marines for the body composition program also will continue, despite the canceled CFT, the MARADMIN said.

The MARADMIN did not waive the 2021 PFT requirement. The Marine Corps’ PFT season begins in January.

The 2020 PFT, along with the Corps body composition program, was suspended in April as the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the country.

As cases and hospitalizations started to dip over the summer, the Corps resumed the fitness testing along with the BCP program in September.

But in early October cases started to spike again, leading the Marine Corps to re-evaluate continuing the CFT.

“Due to an increase of COVID cases throughout the country and out of an abundance of caution, the Commandant of the Marine Corps decided to waive the annual training requirement,” Stephenson said.

According to the Department of Defense, 10,049 Marines have tested positive for COVID-19, as of Dec. 4.

“Overall, the Marine Corps has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in recent months, which has led the Commandant to waive the annual training requirement,” Stephenson said.

“Protecting our Marines and their families has remained a priority from the start,” he added. “We must take those prudent measures to limit COVID-19′s spread, while also ensuring the Marine Corps remains the nation’s force in readiness.”

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