“It doesn’t have to be this way.” During COVID uptick, health officials urge mask use and vaccinations

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 1:30 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - With close to one in three Virginia COVID tests coming back positive over the last month, health officials have released a joint statement urging the public to wear masks and be vaccinated.

The statement is endorsed by Carilion Clinic, Centra Health, LewisGale Regional Health System, the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Sovah Health.

For the Near Southwest Region (Carilion Clinic, Centra, LewisGale Regional Health System, the Salem VA and Sovah) as of Wednesday, 538 COVID patients are hospitalized, up from 535 last Friday, with 116 in intensive care, up from 109.

The group says, “It’s no secret that hospitals are strained as we continue to take care of patients amid record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations.”

The full statement reads as follows:

In the face of a record uptick in COVID-19 cases and community spread, our regional health systems are partnering to share a joint public service announcement featuring real voices from the frontlines. These are your providers, your neighbors, your friends.

Two years into this pandemic, COVID-19 is still a major threat to our community. We’re treating more hospitalized COVID-19 patients than we ever have – the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated.

In addition to treating preventable illness, this takes beds and resources away from other sick patients who desperately need that scarce resource. It doesn’t have to be this way. Our communities can take action and slow the spread of the virus.

This most recent wave of COVID infections has tested our region’s emergency departments, strained our health care workers and filled hospital beds. The public knows our message – wear a mask, wash your hands, stay socially distant, get your vaccine and booster – and we hope these PSAs featuring real frontline voices will act as a reminder that our teams are still here, and they still need your help.

We want to thank the hundreds of thousands of people in our community who received a vaccination and booster. You have helped to lessen the burden on our health care workers. For those still considering the vaccine, please talk to your trusted health care provider to answer any questions.

The simple act of getting a shot will go a long way in helping those who are here to care for you.

Copyright 2022 WDBJ. All rights reserved.