The Air Force this month saw its highest one-week spike of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, with more than 1,000 new cases reported among uniformed military, civilian, dependents, and contractors from June 29 to July 6.
As of July 6, there were 3,325 total COVID-19 cases in the service, including 2,121 within the uniformed ranks. That compares to 2,300 total and 1,366 military cases as of June 29, according to Air Force data released July 7. The week of June 29 saw the Air Force’s second civilian death, eight new hospitalizations, and 99 new recoveries.
The increase comes as the United States sees COVID-19 surge in several states, and as the military grows its ability to test more people for the virus.
In a statement, the Air Force said it is doing more testing, which uncovers more positive cases. Additionally, many USAF installations are located in states that are currently hot spots for the virus, including Texas, Arizona, and Florida.
Personnel could also be contracting the virus when moving to a new job. The Pentagon and the Air Force are now allowing service members to travel to new postings, approving moves overseas and to all but three states.
Overall, the Pentagon on July 7 reported 21,493 total cases, with 14,992 cases among people in uniform. Forty military personnel, civilians, dependents, and contractors affiliated with the Defense Department have died from the virus, and 9,316 have recovered.