Nearly 300 more service members tested positive for coronavirus over the weekend, bringing the military’s total to 4,213 cases, according to the Defense Department’s latest data.
That figure puts troops overall infection rate at 2,006-per-million, or 0.2 percent since the first soldier was diagnosed in South Korea in late February. As overall U.S. cases edge toward 1 million, the infection rate among residents is 2,839-per-million, or almost 0.3 percent.
Cases among troops are expected to continue to rise in the coming weeks and months as the Pentagon rolls out a plan to test members of key units, whether they are symptomatic or not.
“Part of this is learning about who has the virus so that we can, obviously protect the force, and part of it is taking efforts to conduct science and learn more about the virus itself," Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told Military Times on Friday.
Two-thirds of those new cases came from the Navy, as an outbreak on a second ship launched an effort to get 100-percent of its crew tested. As of Monday, 969 sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive, as have 47 assigned to the destroyer Kidd.
The Navy’s 1,659 cases account for 40 percent of the military’s numbers, followed by the Army, a larger service with 40 percent fewer cases.
The Army has 995 cases as of Monday, followed by the Air Force with 347 ― the lowest infection rate of the services ― and the Marine Corps with 304, as well as 792 National Guard airmen and soldiers.
To date, about 30 percent of troops who have contracted coronavirus have recovered, for a total of 1,258. Just over 2 percent have required hospitalization, or 91 total. And with two fatalities, the military’s mortality rate is statistically insignificant.
Overall, DoD has recorded 6,568 cases among troops, civilians, dependents and contractors.
Twenty-five civilians tested positive over the weekend, for a new total of 1,082. Of those, 91 have been hospitalized and 362 have recovered, with 14 deaths for a rate of 1.3 percent.
With seven deaths among 423 contractor cases, that group’s 1.7 percent mortality rate is the highest among the DoD groups. So far, 61 have been hospitalized and 137 have recovered.
Dependents have the highest recovery rate to date, with 287 out of 850 cases recovered, while 33 have been hospitalized and four have died, for a rate of 0.5 percent.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.