More than 600 veterans have died from COVID-19 in the latest surge, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which also said the number of COVID-19 patients has more than tripled over the past three weeks.

The data, reported late Friday by Stars and Stripes, showed almost 13,000 COVID-19 cases at VA facilities, compared to 3,700 at the end of July. There were especially big increases in Texas and Florida.

“We’ve already lost thousands of veterans from this deadly disease,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said last week at the AMVETS national convention in Greensboro, North Carolina. “Now with delta, there’s an exponential increase. That’s why everyone needs to be vaccinated.”

More than 55% of veterans have been vaccinated.

Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. William Redding

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