This report describes nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that limited COVID-19 incidence among basic trainees in Texas.
Substantial COVID-19 transmission has been documented in some congregate living settings. This report examines the first 7 weeks (March 1–April 18) of implementation of NPIs in Basic Military Training (BMT) at a U.S. Air Force base. NPIs included restricted base access, closing ceremonies to the public, travel restrictions, isolating new recruits, social distancing, universal use of face coverings, and reducing the number of incoming trainees by approximately 40%.
During March 1–April 18, a total of 4,073 incoming trainees joined 6,506 trainees who had already started BMT. In this population of 10,579 trainees, there were 5 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed among incoming recruits (47 per 100,000 persons), three of which were in persons who were contacts of the first patient.
The report concludes that transmission of symptomatic COVID-19 in this high-risk setting was successfully limited using strategies of quarantine, social distancing, early screening of trainees, rapid isolation of persons with suspected cases, and monitored reentry into training for trainees with positive test results after resolution of symptoms.