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VHHA says COVID-19 hospitalizations in Virginia jumped 1000% since July

New estimates show preventable costs for treating hospitalized, unvaccinated patients reached...
New estimates show preventable costs for treating hospitalized, unvaccinated patients reached $5.7 billion over the last three months.
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 3:18 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Across the commonwealth, there’s a plea from those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic to get a vaccine and to stay out of the emergency room.

“We’re tired. Nurses are tired. The ED has been getting crushed. They’re tired,” said Claresa Sanchez, Sentara Virginia Beach General Patient Care Supervisor.

Since July, COVID-19 hospitalizations have jumped more than 1,000%, according to The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA).

Currently, the state is averaging about 2,100 daily hospitalizations due to COVID. That’s the second-highest peak we’ve seen during the pandemic. The first peak, about 3,200 hospitalizations daily was back in January, as vaccines were just emerging.

“The concern is that we’re in a surge right now and if it gets worse into the fall that could further strain capacity and the resources of the healthcare delivery system,” said Julian Walker, Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association Communications Vice President.

VHHA points out the eastern and central regions of the state, which includes the metro Richmond area - are seeing the most pronounced hospitalization spikes.

“In addition, the more we have in our hospitals like we’re seeing in other parts of Virginia and other parts of the nation more so, we can’t take care of things like heart attacks, strokes, car accidents and it compromises our ability to take care of our sickest people for other reasons,” said Dr. Melissa Viray, Richmond - Henrico Health Districts.

It’s important to note: no one is being turned away at Virginia hospitals. But, VHHA is now out with a digital marketing campaign pushing the COVID-19 vaccine and hoping to turn the tide on people needing a hospital.

“This is something that should concern everyone because the reality is that we all at some point in our lives will need to rely on the health care delivery system,” said Walker.

VHHA is also quick to point out a majority of those in the hospital due to COVID-19 are patients who are unvaccinated.

Currently, VCU Medical Center has between 60 and 70 patients with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis hospitalized. In comparison, a spokesperson says they had about twice as many COVID-19 inpatients during the previous surge in January and February of 2021 at any given time.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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