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The number of troops hospitalized for COVID-19 doubled over the weekend

There are 26 service members are receiving in-patient treatment after contracting coronavirus, according to Defense Department data, more than twice the 12 who were hospitalized on Friday.

They are just a handful of the 1087 DoD-affiliated cases as of Monday’s update, representing a 67-percent jump during the weekend, with cases among troops rising from 309 to 569.

The new numbers bring the services’ infection rate to 438 per million. That compares to the general 375 per-million among the U.S. population, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

DoD’s death rate continues to be lower than the general public’s, however, with zero service members having succumbed to the disease, and a 0.2 percent death rate overall, with civilians, dependents and contractors factored in.

An Army spouse died Thursday of COVID-19 complications, following the March 21 death of a Washington, D.C.-area contractor. The U.S. death rate stands at 1.7 percent currently.

As the number of cases continues to rise, the Pentagon is considering how it manages reporting the numbers to the public.

“We’ve issued department-wide guidance to release COVID numbers through service branches for regular, consistent reporting,” a senior defense official told Military Times on Monday, tamping down on unit, region and installation releases of the numbers.

The move came after concerns arose last week that publicly releasing even generalized location data about how many troops are out of commission could give adversaries an advantage.

“If this significantly progresses, there are operational concerns about sharing at the COCOM level,” the official said, though the Pentagon has not ordered combatant commands to stop releasing their numbers.

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