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US warns former COVID-19 patients are ‘disqualified’ from joining military

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A US defence official told Fox News of the new measures to keep their existing forces safe.

A memo from the US Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPCOM) circulated online sharing the news.

It showed specific guidance was sent to staff on how to deal with COVID-19 cases, beginning with an initial screening at 65 Military Entry Processing (MEPS) stations.

It read: “During the screening process, a reported history of confirmed COVID-19 will be annotated ‘Considered disqualifying,’ (…)

“During the medical history interview or examination, a history of COVID-19, confirmed by either a laboratory test or a clinician diagnosis, is permanently disqualifying.”

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First reported by the Military Times, it holds that if an applicant fails MEPS screening for COVID-19, but without a laboratory or clinician diagnosis, they can return to continue processing after 14 days if they do not exhibit symptoms.

Anyone diagnosed with the virus, will be forced to wait 28 days after the diagnosis date before they can report back to MEPS.

Applicants typically have their temperature taken and are asked about potential symptoms and contact during initial screening.

The Washington Times reported that applicants can request a waiver, but it was unclear how many would be granted.

The Times reported that more than 4,000 US troops have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Army resumed basic training last month after a two-week pause, even as clusters of COVID-19 cases have been discovered.

The Marine Corps recently temporarily suspended its physical fitness training and halting shipments of recruits to its depot in Parris Island, S.C., in March.

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It comes as the US Navy is opening an investigation into a COVID-19 outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Nearly 1,000 crew members tested positive for the virus and 1,700 remain in Guam in recovery or quarantine.

The outbreak and conditions aboard the ship resulted in the commander being fired after speaking publicly about the matter and the resignation of Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.

Former Capt. Brett Crozier has been given a temporary duty assignment serving as the special assistant to the Naval Air Forces chief of staff.

The US Army has also said that mitigation efforts to blunt the spread of the coronavirus “have proven insufficient” within the service and it is suspending “non-mission essential functions,” according to an internal Army directive dated Thursday that was obtained by CNN.

The internal order said: “Mitigation measures taken by the Army to blunt the spread of COVID-19 have proven insufficient,”

It added that coronavirus “continues to spread geographically as the number of infected persons continues to rise.”

The order continued: “Additional measures and actions are required to protect the force from further spread of COVID-19.”

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