UVA COVID-19 model predicts surge in cases for Martinsville and Henry County

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 9:24 PM EDT
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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - After two weeks of asking non-emergency patients in Martinsville to go to urgent care instead of the ER, SOVAH Health has not seen much of an improvement.

“At this point we continue to fight this fight. We have over 45 patients across the market receiving treatment for COVID-19,” said Dr. Sheranda Gunn-Nolan, Market Chief Medical Officer for SOVAH Health.

The cases continue the strain on hospital staff.

“We continue to address the issues in regards to staffing resources, concerns that continue to occur with this ongoing battle,” said Dr. Gunn-Nolan.

While West Piedmont Health officials say cases have leveled out for now, UVA’s latest projections suggest the health district will see nearly 600 new cases by October 31.

“If COVID cases peak as UVA is predicting, it will put the hospitals in a really bad place, even right now as cases are plateauing they are in a bad place,” said Nancy Bell, West Piedmont health official.

Henry County has reached 50% vaccination rate for eligible adults, but Bell says that’s largely due to one population group.

“That’s largely due to the 65 and older crowds whose uptake was near 90%, so 50% is good but not good enough, so we are going to keep working on this as long as it takes,” said Bell.

In order to increase vaccination rates, the department has partnered with United Way to hire community workers who spread accurate information to residents about the vaccine.

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