- The Washington Times
Thursday, May 7, 2020

A COVID-19 diagnosis could prevent a new military recruit from joining the force, new guidelines from the Pentagon says.

According to a memo from U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPS) circulating on Twitter, a COVID-19 diagnosis confirmed by a lab test or professional diagnosis may disqualify an applicant from joining the U.S. military.

“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 memo states.

A spokesperson for the Pentagon confirmed the note’s authenticity to Military Times, who was first to report the memo.

The document also outlines a process for MEPS when assessing a new applicant during the pandemic that includes a temperature check and answering a questionnaire about symptoms and potential contact with an infected person.

If a new applicant fails the screening, they will be sent home and asked to return 14 days later if they are symptom free. If the applicant is diagnosed, they must wait 28 days to return to MEPS.

A Pentagon official with knowledge of the new precautions told Military.com that a hospitalization for COVID-19 is a disqualifying factor while others who were diagnosed may apply for a waiver.

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