“COVID is ravaging the community.” Lynchburg health officials say hospitals are stressed as cases increase

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 11:05 AM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Health leaders say COVID cases in the Lynchburg region have increased notably. “This can affect anybody,” said Dr. Christopher Lewis with Centra at a Monday morning news conference.

Officials report 1,122 cumulative cases in the Central Virginia Health District. Lewis noted a 47-year-old patient died over the weekend. “We are stressed as far as we can go right now. I would say that’s staff, that’s bed capacity,” Dr. Lewis explained. “Our fear is what’s down the road.”

Health professionals are urging the public to treat everyone as if they have COVID. “It is that widespread in the community,” Dr. Lewis said. Lewis says Cenrta is running out of space and is maxed out as more patients are being admitted into the hospital.

The hospital is prepared with more than 100 ventilators currently available, according to Lewis, but he says there is a “large number” of patients that is increasing by the day.

He said there is enough personal protective equipment to protect caregivers.

Dr. Lewis reminded the public that coronavirus is not the flu. “The flu doesn’t pile people into ICUs like this does.” “COVID is ravaging the community,” Lewis added.

The age of people with the virus is sliding toward the younger people. 20-29 is the predominate age group now.

Doctors continue to encourage social distancing. “The virus loves a crowd,” said Dr. Kerry Gateley with VDH.

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