VA confirms first death from virus

VA confirms first death from virus
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The Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday confirmed the first novel coronavirus-related death within the system, saying the patient died two days ago at a Portland, Ore., facility.

"A Veteran patient in their 70s died March 14 at VA Portland Health Care System due to complications from Coronavirus (COVID-19). This case was previously reported as a presumptive positive in an earlier case count," Veterans Affairs spokeswoman Christina Mandreucci told CNN.

The department earlier confirmed the first case of the virus in its system involving a patient at the Palo Alto, Calif., facility, and more than 134 VA nursing homes have adopted a “no visitors” policy to stem the spread of the illness.

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There are 30 confirmed cases within the VA nationwide as of Monday, and the VA said that as of Friday it has administered 140 tests altogether.

The department has access to 3,000 test kits, 1,000 of them provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and another 2,000 developed by the VA that Mandreucci told CNN will only be used if necessary.

The report comes as White House officials are planning to ask Congress for another round of funding to combat the virus, this round allocated to the Pentagon, the VA and the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to CNN.