Aug. 7 (UPI) — The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. military passed the 30,000 threshold this week, the Pentagon reported.
The Department of Defense now has recorded 30,392 cases of the coronavirus among military personnel, with civilian, contractor and dependent cases bringing DoD’s total case count to 43,634 as of Friday afternoon.
Although 2,856 positive cases were found this week, a 10 percent increase over last week, the number of new cases is heading downward, officials said.
Earlier in the summer, over 4,000 cases per week were being reported.
The Army had 10,245 total cases last week. The Marines reported 3,746, the Navy had 7,166, the Air Force had 4,789, the National Guard had 4,151 and other Defense Department agencies had 295.
The Army’s increase in cases, from Monday’s Pentagon report to Friday’s, was 548 cases, with the Marines up by 301, the Navy up by 278 and the Air Force up by 194. The National Guard, which has troops activated around the country to assist in COVID-19 response, reported 294 cases this week.
The Army also reported its fourth COVID-19 related death this week. The Defense Department has reported a total of 72 deaths so far, in military, civilian, dependent and contractor classifications.
It was noted last month by Thomas Cafferty, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs that increases in military cases tend to correspond with the states in which installations are located. The states with the highest number of cases this week include Georgia, Texas, California and Florida, sites of numerous military bases.
The military’s infection rate increased to 1.4 percent, the Friday statistics indicate, a figure comparable to the overall U.S. population.