Centra officials say nearly 30% of Lynchburg General bed capacity now for coronavirus care

Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 5:37 PM EST
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Centra officials met virtually Wednesday to give an update on their health system and COVID numbers.

They say as December has gone on, things have only gotten worse.

“On December 2, beginning of the month, we had 56 positive patients in the hospital. That rose to 71 just about a week ago,” said Chris Lewis, vice president of medical affairs.

Lewis says Lynchburg General is now treating 87 patients with coronavirus.

That number is the highest Lynchburg General has seen all year - and has forced more beds to go toward COVID patients.

“Almost 30% of our bed capacity currently at LGH is going to COVID care,” said Lewis.

But with that adjustment have also come Moderna vaccines. Centra received a thousand doses of that vaccine Monday.

They say vaccinations from Pfizer have gone well so far.

“So far, we’ve seen no serious side effects from any of these folks that we’ve vaccinated,” said Lewis.

Despite the promising vaccine news, Centra says the alarming number of coronavirus cases has affected visitation.

They’re now restricting non-COVID patients to one visitor each for the length of their stay beginning Saturday.

“We’re gonna limit visitation to one person and one person only through the duration of a loved one’s hospital visit. So it has to be the same person - not just one person a day, but the same person during that period of time,” said Andy Mueller, Centra president and CEO.

There are exceptions for end-of-life care.

Centra officials also say they’re prepping for a potential surge after the new year.

They’re looking at ways to adjust their bed capacity for more patients.

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