USA- According to an online news report from the MarineCorpsTimes.com, the number of fatal coronavirus cases at Veterans Affairs hospitals is sharply increasing so far in August. The report states that August will likely be the month with the most significant number of fatal COVID-19 cares since the pandemic’s beginning. Some families of the VA patients are seeking money damages under the Federal Torts Claim Act, which is a tort claim filed against the United States government for the death of a loved one believed to be caused by the negligent acts, or wrongful acts or omission of a Department of Veterans Affairs employee who was acting within the scope of his or her employment with the VA. The tort claim must be received by the Agency within two years of the date injury or death.
As of August 18, 2020, there have been nearly 2,450 VA patients who have succumbed to the coronavirus since April, and over 320 of those tragic deaths came in the first two and a half of weeks in August. The estimates for August are a total of at least 600 deaths. This number is substantially higher than the previous two months; July had 497 deaths, and June had 429 deaths. May 2020 was the highest recorded month, with about 740 coronavirus-related deaths among VA patients.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is testing patients outside of VA medical centers before allowing patients to enter the Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics.
On August 18, 2020, VA officials stated that there are over 4,200 active cases of the coronavirus among VA patients. The good news is more than one-third of these cases are a result of the record-high number of 6,213 active coronavirus cases, which was reported about three weeks ago.
VA officials have regularly dismissed the number of new cases and deaths among the VA patient population because they feel the rate of “hospitalizations among infected individuals provides a better gauge of department success.”
This month, nearly 15 percent of all VA patients who tested positive for COVID-19 required hospitalization, and this is the lowest rate since the beginning of the pandemic. The average was about 20%. Christina Noel, the VA’s press secretary, stated that the VA “is closely monitoring all aspects of COVID-19 related to veterans health care and making adjustments as needed.”
Texas continues to the state that is being hit the hardest with new cases during this new wave of nationwide coronavirus cases. The VA has five VA locations inside the State of Texas— Dallas, Harlingen, San Antonio, Houston, and Temple. These five locations made the top 12 new VA hospital coronavirus cases list.
Three VA medical centers located in the New York City area— the hospital in East Orange, New Jersey, the Bronx VA, and the New York Harbor system— account for approximately 13 percent of the total nationwide VA coronavirus deaths.
VA medical centers are “taking precautions and considering the unique circumstances of their state and local markets, environmental safety preparedness and clinical risk assessments,” in anticipation of a new wave in the fall months, according to the VA’s press secretary, Christina Noel.
VA officials announced last week that they planned on reintroducing VA volunteer workers at all VA sites. VA volunteer workers were banned from VA hospital campuses in the spring to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Department of Veteran Affairs leaders stated that the volunteers undergo new training on the most current coronavirus procedures. The volunteers with be shown how to use personal protective equipment, and will be screened for any symptoms before being permitted to enter VA facilities.
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