Several cadets brought back for graduation at West Point test positive for COVID-19
Published Tuesday, June 2, 2020 8:35AM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, June 2, 2020 8:58AM EDT
About 15 cadets from the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2020 who were brought back for graduation where President Donald Trump is scheduled to give the commencement address have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a U.S. Army spokesperson.
"About 1 ½ per cent" of the Class of 2020 who were brought back have tested positive, the spokesperson told CNN Sunday. None of the infected cadets were symptomatic, the spokesperson said, adding "no cadet has contracted through person-to-person contact while under the Army's care" and that those infected were isolated. The graduating class size is approximately 1,000 cadets.
"The Army and West Point have done meticulous planning to ensure the health and safety of the returning cadets of the U.S. Military Academy's Class of 2020. There is mandatory screening for all and we've had a small number -- about 1 ½ per cent -- test positive," the spokesperson said. "This was anticipated. None were symptomatic, and no cadet has contracted through person-to-person contact while under the Army's care. Those who test positive are isolated, and receive appropriate care and attention, while we continue an orderly reintegration of our cadets."
In April, the President announced he was going to address West Point's commencement ceremony taking place June 13. His decision to do so has been criticized for putting cadets' health at risk. West Point said in a statement in late April the graduation procession "will look different from recent graduation ceremonies due to current force health protection requirements" related to the coronavirus pandemic.
West Point's campus is in New York state, which has been the state hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic so far. Cadets had been away from campus since early March.