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Department of Veterans Affairs says more than 1,000 Valley veterans tested positive for COVID-19

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More than 1,000 veterans in the Rio Grande Valley have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Robert Wilkie, the secretary of Veterans Affairs, said more than half of veterans served by the department are older than 65 — putting them at higher risk.

"We had to do drastic things to protect them," Wilkie said. "In the nursing homes, we had to deprive our nursing home residents of visits from their families and friends. We tested everybody regularly, not just the veterans but also the employees. We stopped elected surgeries. We stopped routine medical visits."

The steps helped reduced the risk posed by COVID-19, but the virus still spread through the Veterans Affairs system.

More than 6,000 veterans in Texas tested positive for the virus, according to the department. Of them, more than 1,000 were in the Valley.

More than 90 veterans in the Valley died.

Watch the video for the full story.

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