ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The U.S. Naval Academy has established penalties for midshipmen who violate its COVID-19 restrictions, a move that comes after a proposal to have the mids police themselves failed.
A memo approved March 11 says the first time a midshipman violates the Naval Academy’s rules intended to slow the spread of COVID 19 they face getting demerits, the Capital Gazette reported Tuesday. An offense will also mean the loss of a weekend of liberty when it is restored and an additional seven days of restrictions when they are eased.
For a second offense, another 50 demerits are added, as well as another week of restrictions and another lost chance to get off the Yard for the weekend.
An email from Brigade Executive Officer Ashley Boddiford said leaders of the Brigade of Midshipmen advocated letting the mids themselves stop classmates from breaking the restrictions, but that idea did not work.
“Our blatant disregard for the orders given to us by the Commandant of Midshipmen will stop today,” Boddiford wrote in the email.
Boddiford also wrote each midshipman must follow orders if midshipmen want to have a return to normalcy.
“We must each take responsibility for the state we are in,” she wrote. “This is not the desired method, but we have expended our chances to be remediated any other way.”
The brigade is facing penalties for violating the restriction of movement they have been in since Feb. 28 due to an outbreak of COVID-19. The academy could not say how many midshipmen were sick due to operational security, but nearly 200, at least 98 of them recovering from COVID-19, were moved into local hotels to expand quarantine and isolation space at Bancroft Hall.
While the midshipmen continue under the restriction of movement orders, which has paused Navy sports as well, they have been able to start receiving vaccines.
Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.