Air Force Academy says entire student body has returned for fall semester

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 8:18 AM MDT
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U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (KKTV) - All Air Force Academy cadets have returned to the academy, making the AFA one of the first universities in the nation to have its entire student body on campus.

The academy said last week the reason for the move was because the school was considered mission-essential as a key Air Force accession source. The secretary of defense has designated all accession sources and military training pipelines as essential during the pandemic.

Calling the mechanics of how to bring the entire student body back “a daunting challenge,” the academy said it sought input from local and state health officials, the Department of Defense and the Center of Disease Control (CDC), among others.

“The safety of cadets, staff and the entire USAFA community, as well as the Colorado Springs community, remains our number one priority,” the academy said in a news release announcing the return.

The academy said they are doing the following to keep cadets and the greater community safe:

- Testing cadets for COVID multiple times in their first two weeks on campus on days 0, 7, 10 and 14.

- Providing random cadet testing going forward to identify any potential asymptomatic cases in the earliest stages possible.

- Maintaining quarantine and isolation space for cadets with positive tests, symptoms or close contact with positive cases.

- Creating space for social distancing when planning military training, classes, cadet living arrangements and other activities.

Four hundred cadets will be housed in off-base hotels for at least the duration of the fall semester, if not longer.

“The select group of healthy cadets living off-base will be subject the same stringent military training and academic standards, and safety protocols as the cadets remaining on base. Academy supervision will be at the hotels as well. Transportation and food options are still being considered,” the academy said.

All cadets were tested Monday when they arrived.

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