The Veterans Health Administration is the nation’s largest healthcare network and an important resource for our veterans. Tragically, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs reported thousands of cases of the virus in VA facilities and hundreds of deaths. The staggering number of coronavirus cases in VA hospitals have made families wonder if shortcomings in the way the facilities acted allowed these outbreaks to happen.
VA patients are disproportionately elderly. About half of the 9 million veterans who use the Department of Veterans Affairs’ healthcare network are at least 65 years old. Many also have health conditions that can make them susceptible to COVID-19 complications. Any facility that cares for high-risk patients must do its due diligence to prevent the spread of the virus.
By the third week of April, 2020, VA hospitals reported 6,115 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 391 deaths around the country. Of those cases, nearly 200 happened in California and led to 14 deaths. California VA hospitals with confirmed cases in April stretched the length of the state, from Sacramento VA Medical Center to San Francisco VAMC, Palo Alto VA Medical Center to West LA VAMC and Long Beach VAMC.
Whether understaffing, lack of emergency preparedness, or ineffective safety protocols contributed to these statistics remains to be seen. However, families of VA patients who contracted coronavirus deserve answers. We are here to help.
If you or a family member was a patient in a VA hospital that experienced a COVID-19 outbreak, we encourage you to contact CaseyGerry at (619) 238-1811. We’ll discuss your situation and explain your legal rights. There is no obligation when you call.