VA sees rise in coronavirus cases after a gradual decline
Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription.
WASHINGTON — After a five-day pause in publicly sharing its coronavirus statistics, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported Tuesday an increase in active cases and 55 more deaths.
The number of VA patients still sick with the virus had gradually decreased in recent weeks and on Thursday fell below 1,000 for the first time since March. However, the department reported a 54% increase in active cases Tuesday to 1,526. The VA hospital in Washington, D.C., experienced one of the biggest jumps in sick patients, from 37 on Thursday to 65 on Tuesday.
Stay-at-home restrictions across the country have eased in recent weeks, though elected officials and experts are still urging Americans to be cautious in public.
The VA’s data includes veterans, as well as employees and active-duty service members or civilians who received treatment at VA hospitals. In total, about 14,500 people tested positive for the virus in the past few months, and about 11,700 of them have recovered, the VA said.
As of Tuesday, 1,254 VA patients had died. That number includes 757 who died in VA hospitals and 497 VA patients who died in their homes or community hospitals. It is not a comprehensive tally of all veterans who have died from the virus.
Thirty-two VA employees have died, and 91 remain sick. More than 1,400 have recovered from the virus, the department said.