Clinical

VA Ramps up Vaccinations as COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise

Facilities nationwide seeing surges in new cases and hospitalizations as rates in veterans and VA employees mirror national trends.


 

COVID-19 in the VA

Updated January 12, 2020

More than 181,000 veterans have contracted the COVID-19 virus and 7,385 have died, according to data released by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on January 12, 2020. The number of cases and deaths have increased sharply since November 2020. The VA also reports that it has administered at least 1 dose of the 2 approved vaccines to 33,875 veterans and 174,724 employees as of January 6.

Currently, the VA reports nearly 19,000 active cases of COVID-19, including 1,270 among VA employees. One hundred five VA employees have died from COVID-19.

Although facilities across the country are facing increased pressure as the number of cases rise, those in Southern California and Texas are reporting significant infection rates. Thirteen facilities have at least 300 active cases, including facilities in Loma Linda (418), Long Beach (381), Greater Los Angeles (361), and San Diego (274), all in California. In Texas, San Antonio (394), Dallas (370), Temple (338), and Houston (328) have all seen large numbers of active cases. Facilities in Columbia, South Carolina (420); Phoenix (407); Atlanta, Georgia (359); Cleveland, Ohio (352); and Orlando, (341) and Gainesville, Florida (340) also have reported significant numbers of cases.

While early on in the pandemic facilities in New York and New Jersey had reported the largest number of deaths, now nearly every facility has reported at least 1 death. Fourteen facilities have reported at least 100 deaths and 53 have reported between 50 and 99 deaths. The 7,385 VA COVID-19 deaths represent 2.0% of the 375,300 deaths reported in the US by Johns Hopkins University. VA has reported 0.8% of the total number of COVID-19 cases.

The VA also reports the demographic breakdown of its COVID-19 cases. Among the active cases, 56.9% are White, 18.3% Black, 9.4% Hispanic, and 1.4% Native American, Alaska Native, or Pacific Islander.

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