Centra relaxes visitation restrictions as system sees significantly fewer coronavirus patients

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 4:32 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - In a virtual update Wednesday, Centra officials shared some good news.

In two months’ time, the number of patients they’re treating with coronavirus has dropped significantly, from 133 patients in January to eight now.

“It definitely is a different feel and moving very much in the right direction,” said Chris Lewis, chief clinical officer.

Lewis says the change is part of a trend of lower numbers for the system.

Because of the continued decrease, the system is also relaxing some its visitation restrictions Friday.

“We will now be having non-COVID floors have up to two visitors at a time per patient, and those visitors can switch out over time, but it needs to be only a maximum of two at any given time,” said Lewis.

Visitors of the emergency room and procedural areas will remain at one visitor per patient.

Centra is also anticipating greater vaccine supply in the coming weeks.

They say the increase would help the area move on to vaccination Phase 1c.

“We are supportive of what VDH is saying, which is, they want to move into Phase 1c by mid-April, and then hopefully be able to move into Phase 2 at the beginning of May,” said Michael Elliott, chief transformation officer.

Officials say they’re cautiously optimistic another coronavirus surge won’t happen, but say it can’t totally be ruled out.

They also say they can go some days without receiving any new coronavirus patients.

At this point, only half of Lynchburg General’s pulmonary floor is dedicated for those patients.

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