For the past week, between 100 and 200 troops have come up positive for coronavirus, according to the latest Defense Department numbers.
As of Tuesday morning, 2,618 have been diagnosed, with two deaths and 80 current hospitalizations ― including an aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt sailor who died this week, and another admitted to intensive care yesterday.
Cases among troops jumped almost 5 percent between Monday and Tuesday, with 400 so far recovered. Their infection rate stands at 1,246-per-million, still well under the overall 1,697-per-million of the general U.S. population.
DoD civilians have been hit hardest during the pandemic, with more than 11 percent of cases currently requiring hospitalization, and representing seven of 16 deaths so far. That group saw a 9-percent jump in cases since Monday ― from 597 to 653 ― with 62 currently hospitalized and 84 recovered.
The biggest jump in the past day was among dependents, which rose 13 percent, from 491 to 558, in the last 24 hours. Twenty-four of those family members are hospitalized, with two deaths and 103 recoveries so far.
Contractors, like DoD civilians, are spread out in terms of age, and have been the second hardest-hit group. So far, five have died of COVID-19 complications and 34 are currently hospitalized. Their numbers climbed 10 percent, 270 to 298, in the past day.
DoD’s death rate continues to be vastly lower than the general population’s, at 0.3 percent versus 4 percent overall in the U.S., a number that has continued to grow as cases have grown.
As the Navy wraps up testing all 4,800 sailors assigned to the TR, nearly 600 have tested positive for COVID-19. They make up the preponderance of the Navy’s 950 cases, as it continues to be the service with the most diagnoses.
The Army is second, with 602, following by the Air Force at 294 and the Marine Corps at 206. The National Guard, made up of both airmen and soldiers, has reported 522, including more than 100 who have been diagnosed since mobilizing in support of local pandemic response efforts.
The Navy’s high numbers despite between the second-largest service can be attributed, at least in part, to more widespread testing than the other services.
It has so far not been military policy to test every member of a unit after one service member falls ill, but on the TR, more than 100 initial cases and a subsequent extended port call and partial evacuation resulted in 100-percent testing for its crew.
Roughly 12 percent of those sailors have tested positive for COVID-19, including hundreds who were asymptomatic at the time.
“From my perspective, I think it’s not a good idea to think that the Teddy Roosevelt is a one-of-a-kind issue,” Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Harry S. Truman carrier strike group is being held at sea despite wrapping up its most recent deployment, to assure there is a carrier ready for a rapid response in the Atlantic.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.