The Department of Defense has banned coronavirus survivors from enlisting in the U.S. armed forces.
According to the Military Times, a past positive test for the coronavirus will disqualify a prospect from entering the armed forces.
“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 …” the MEPCOM memo reads.
Before you start yelling “fake news,” Pentagon spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell has confirmed that these are the new rules.
“Specifically, it lays out guidelines for MEPS staff to deal with potential, as well as confirmed, coronavirus cases. That starts with screening at all MEPS, which includes taking a temperature and answering questions about symptoms and potential contact,” the Military Times added.
“During the screening process, a reported history of confirmed COVID-19 will be annotated ‘Considered disqualifying’“ pic.twitter.com/ZKx91AUbXo
— Free (@Nathaniel_Free) May 4, 2020
If an applicant fails screening, according to the memo, they won’t be tested, but they can return in 14 days if they’re symptom-free. Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 will have to wait until 28 days after diagnosis to report to MEPS.
Upon return, a diagnosis will be marked as “permanently disqualifying” for accession. Recruits can apply for waivers for all permanently disqualifying conditions, including surviving COVID-19. However, without any further guidance for exceptions dealing with COVID-19, a review authority would have no justification to grant a waiver.
The military didn’t say if these rules are permanent, or only temporary.
Over the last few months, the military has been testing every recruit for COVID-19.
Some military installations have also been found with the virus, including, ” Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, the Army and Marine Corps’ biggest initial entry training installations,” the paper wrote.
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