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1,000 veterans died of COVID-19 in November, VA reports

1,000 veterans died of COVID-19 in November, VA reports
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Richard Garcia (left) screens Machinist's Mate Fireman Taylor Welling prior to her COVID-19 test. Photo by Anthony Collier/U.S. Navy

Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs recorded its highest monthly death count due to COVID-19 in November while case counts among the military continue an upward climb.

The Department of Veterans Affairs reported Tuesday that COVID-19 killed more than 1,000 people in VA facilities in November -- its highest death count in a single month.

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As of Tuesday, 5,022 people have died of the novel coronavirus in its facilities since the pandemic began, according to the VA.

At the start of November, the VA reported that 4,017 patients had died of the virus. The department also reported that 12 VA employees died of COVID-19 in November, bringing the cumulative total of employee deaths up to 74.

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November's total breaks a record set in August for deaths due to the virus in VA facilities. That month the department logged 820 COVID-19 deaths.

And the number of active cases of the virus more than doubled in the month of November -- the daily record of active cases prior to November was about 6,500.

On Tuesday, the department was tracking 14,744 cases.

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As of Monday evening, the Department of Defense reported 117,736 total cases of the novel coronavirus since March, with 79,020 among the military, 19,770 among civilian DoD employees, 11,721 among DoD dependents and 7,225 among contractors.

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That's an increase of 9,174 from Nov. 20, when the Pentagon reported 108,562 total cases of the virus.

Of those, 70,890 have recovered, 1,930 have been hospitalized and 129 have died.

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The increased case counts among veterans and DoD personnel mirrors civilian trends.

On Monday, there were 157,900 new COVID-19 cases and almost 2,200 coronavirus deaths, and the United States recorded 4.4 million cases new cases through the month of November, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker.

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