Nonpharmaceutical interventions — which involve practices such as screening, testing, quarantine, isolation and source control — helped limit the transmission of COVID-19 among a large population of military trainees at a U.S. Air Force base, according to a recent report from Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Among 10,579 U.S. Air Force basic military trainees at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, nonpharmaceutical interventions limited the incidence of COVID-19 to only five symptomatic cases. Three of the five cases were contracted by people who had contact with the first patient.
Over seven weeks (March 1-April 18), the base implemented nonpharmaceutical interventions such as:
- Social distancing
- Early screening of trainees
- Rapid isolation of people with suspected COVID-19 cases
- Monitored reentry into training for trainees with positive test results after their symptoms ended
COVID-19 is known to spread substantially in close-living quarters, such as a military base. This report offers methods to successfully restrict the spread.