Sunday, January 24, 2021

COVID-19 Kills 1,000 VA Patients In November, Most In a Single Month

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The coronavirus has killed more than 5,000 VA patients — with 1,000 dying during November, the most COVID-19 deaths the Department of Veterans Affairs has recorded in a single month, Stars and Stripes reported.

As of Tuesday, the VA reported 5,021 COVID-19 deaths, up from 4,017 at the start of November. In addition, 12 VA employees died during November, brining the total employee deaths to 74. 

Active cases across the VA system were down slightly as of Tuesday, Stars and Stripes reported, and were at 14,500 after surpassing 15,000 last week, with hospitals in the Midwest the hardest hit.

At the Cleveland VA hospital in Ohio, 455 veterans are currently sick with the virus – down 8% since Friday, the highest in the system. The Minneapolis VA hospital has the second-most cases with 387, and Chicago has the third, with 284.

Of the total deaths reported Tuesday, 1,943 of the veterans died at VA hospitals, and 3,078 were VA patients who died elsewhere and whose deaths were reported to the department. 

The VA doesn’t require state-run veterans’ homes to inform them of coronavirus deaths, though some have suffered significant outbreaks, the news outlet noted.

According to Stars and Stripes, the latest known outbreak occurred at the LaSalle Veterans Home in Illinois, where about 200 residents and staff have tested positive for the virus and 28 veterans have died since late October. The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs announced two investigations into the home.

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