The Pentagon announced on Thursday that the U.S. military would no longer prevent people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 from serving in its ranks.
Department of Defense personnel chief Matthew Donovan said he had "lifted" the rules on the matter that the military had introduced in early May out of concern for long-term breathing damage from the disease.
"There were some draft interim and policy guidelines … that I kept," Donovan told reporters during a press conference.
He noted that the revision was only part of a major update and that health professionals would consider further recommendations.
However, if a new recruit has not fully recovered from COVID-19 or is still suffering from persistent side effects, he or she may not be able to switch to the armed forces immediately.
Any branch of the military can issue exemptions.
The U.S. military suffered a total of 5,888 COVID-19 cases on Thursday, of which 129 had to be hospitalized and two died.
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