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Centra sees decrease in coronavirus patients, anticipates possible February surge

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 5:53 PM EST
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Centra officials gave an update Wednesday to say things are looking better – for now.

Their health system has seen some coronavirus relief, but they say it’s not over just yet.

“And we believe we’ve just sort of gone through what is a peak that has occurred in response to Thanksgiving. So, we expect that February’s gonna be a really hard month on our health system and our community,” said Andy Mueller, Centra president and CEO.

Muller says the worst coronavirus activity typically happens five weeks after any given holiday.

Lynchburg General is currently treating 92 patients with coronavirus - down from 133 patients about a week ago - but Mueller says they’re keeping their eyes ahead.

“And if we look at the prior holidays, it’s really about five weeks after the holidays that we start to see the numbers really start to jump up. And we’re clearly not five weeks outside of Christmas,” said Mueller.

Meanwhile, Centra continues to vaccinate staff as the Central Virginia Health District enters Phase 1B for vaccinations.

Centra says they’re working now to begin scheduling vaccinations for that group.

“This scheduling will only be for one, patients that already have an established primary care relationship with a Centra primary care provider and two, fall into the Phase 1A or 1B categories,” said Michael Elliott, chief transformation officer.

But the supply of vaccinations continues to be an issue.

Centra describes it as unpredictable right now as demand increases.

“So we’re going to be in a space of really limited supply for the foreseeable future,” said Elliott.

So far, over 9,000 vaccine doses have been administered in Centra.

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