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Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Two Air Force Academy seniors kept on campus amid coronavirus outbreak die in suspected suicides

(File photo) Cadets walk the campus at the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, Colo., on their way to the dinning hall for lunch.
(File photo) Cadets walk the campus at the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, Colo., on their way to the dinning hall for lunch.(Ed Andrieski/AP)

The Air Force community was reeling Tuesday after a pair of senior cadets still on campus amid the coronavirus outbreak died in suspected suicides within days of each other, according to officials.
The academy sent freshmen, sophomores and juniors home earlier this month as the illness started its quick spread across major cities in the United States. Unlike the Army and Navy, the Air Force opted to keep its seniors – about 1,000 students – in class and through graduation, according to the Gazette.
The Air Force Academy on Monday released a statement confirming a cadet was found dead on campus over the weekend, the second since the academy initiated lock down guidelines. The first was found days earlier, on Thursday afternoon.
While no foul play is suspected, the incidents remain under investigation. COVID-19 is not suspected to be the cause of death in either case.
“These tragedies have caused incredible shock and pain throughout our USAF family,” Lt. Gen. Jay Silvera, Air Force Academy Superintendent, said in a statement.
“Right now we are all focused on taking care of the cadet’s families and each other -- our cadets, our faculty, our staff-- as we grieve this loss. We ask for everyone’s patience and respect for the families’ privacy at this time.”
Silvera in an email recently obtained by Townhall also confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 in students, another two in staff, two more in civilian employees, and a ninth in an active duty officer.
“They are each in isolation here in accordance with the Academy’s COVID-19 plan, and we are closely monitoring their health,” it reads.
“We are also identifying anyone who may have come in contact with them, and have closed a number of our facilities for the next 48 hours in order to thoroughly clean and disinfect.”

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