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US Air Force Academy cadet found dead on campus

The cadet area at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., in April 2017. A cadet was found dead at the academy on Thursday, March 26, 2020, a statement from leadership said. The death is not thought to be linked to the coronavirus.

KARIN ZEITVOGEL/STARS AND STRIPES

By HEATHER BENIT | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 28, 2020

Editor's note: For more developments, see this later story.

A U.S. Air Force Academy cadet was found dead on campus this week, the academy said.

Circumstances surrounding the death, which occurred Thursday, are under investigation, but there are no indications that it was related to the coronavirus or caused by foul play, the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based academy said in a statement.

“As our entire Academy community mourns the loss of one of our own, we are taking immediate steps to make sure we take care of the Cadet Wing during this difficult time,” Air Force Academy leadership said in an email to parents.

The cadet’s name is being withheld until next-of-kin have been notified, per Department of Defense policy.

The academy also announced that two cadets have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the number of confirmed cases at the sprawling campus to five. Two civilian employees and an active-duty service member have also been confirmed to have the virus, which in some cases causes severe lung illness.

The two cadets, both seniors, are in isolation and are being closely watched. The academy is working to identify anyone who has been in close contact with them and has closed several facilities for deep-cleaning and disinfection, officials said.

Most of the nearly 4,000 cadets at the academy were dismissed two weeks ago and are studying remotely until the end of the academic year. The unprecedented move was taken to allow seniors, who remain on campus, to be housed in individual rooms and follow social distancing guidelines, which are considered key in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

benit.heather@stripes.com
 

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