The number of veterans who have have tested positive for coronavirus has increased from 204 on Monday to 296 confirmed cases on Tuesday. Reported deaths also inched up from two on Monday, to four on Tuesday.
The uptick comes as the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs braces for an influx of patients, and asks for additional health care workers to staff medical facilities.
The department has called out to retired VA and federal health care workers on Twitter and Facebook, to reapply for clinical jobs: "WE NEED YOU! Help us in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider #VA re-employment."
Retired VA clinicians and Federal healthcare providers: WE NEED YOU! Help us in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider #VA re-employment. Dual compensation waivers will be available. To learn more, email [email protected] or apply at https://t.co/Uw4aEwoSRE #WorkAtVA pic.twitter.com/paonC14yU4— Veterans Affairs (@DeptVetAffairs) March 24, 2020
The appeals from the VA, which is the largest health care system in the U.S., come after Secretary Robert Wilkie said last week that the department was getting ready to deploy 3,000 medical staff to assist in the national fight against coronavirus.
#DidYouKnow retired #VA clinicians can now return to #WorkAtVA? Don't miss this opportunity to continue caring for #Veterans! Learn more: https://t.co/TCaqMz4Z4V— VA Careers (@vacareers) March 24, 2020
The department entered the coronavirus epidemic short-staffed with 44,000 vacancies.
Those health care workers willing to come out of retirement to help VA clinics and hospitals may themselves be at higher risk of contracting coronavirus, because they're likely to be in the most vulnerable age group.
The job openings "could include both direct patient care and telehealth options, as well as call center and other administrative support."