09 Apr Veteran Affairs Coronavirus Cases – 3,000 Nationwide, More Than 150 Deaths
In mid-March, Veterans Affairs leaders reported the first death of a VA patient from coronavirus. Since then, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of positive cases and deaths in the department’s health system.
On March 30, the total deaths were less than 20. However, as of April 7, there have been 144 fatalities due to COVID-19.
VA officials shared only partial details about the deaths. Most of the fatalities have been among patients aged 50 or older. New Orleans VA Medical Center, has been hit the hardest by the illness. Recently officials reported that a patient in his or her 40s also fell victim to the pandemic. No other information was shared.
Throughout the country, more than 3,038 patients under VA care tested positive for coronavirus. That’s around 11 percent of all of the cases examined by the department and it has nearly tripled in the last 10 days.
VA Officials requested veterans with symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, or cough to get in touch with their local VA facility to determine the course of action.
VA officials also promised, “an aggressive public health response to protect and care for veterans, their families, health care providers, and staff in the face of this emerging health risk.”
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie announced on Sunday during a White House briefing that he would make 1,500 beds available nationwide to communities needing extra resources, despite the increasing coronavirus numbers within the VA health system.
“The 400,000 men and women of the Department of Veterans Affairs are in this fight.,” he said. “We are in the fight not only for the nine and a half million veterans who are part of our service, but we are in the fight for the people of the United States.”
VA officials have said that making those areas available to non-veteran patients will not hurt the delivery of care to any veterans who need it.