Augusta Health reaches record-high positivity rate

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 4:38 PM EST
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FISHERSVILLE, Va. (WHSV) - Over the past 24 hours, COVID-19 levels in the community reached an unprecedented high. Augusta Health has once again escalated its Surge Plan to meet these growing volumes.

Over the past four days, the Augusta Health testing positivity rate has risen to 35%, which is a significant increase over the past week and is expected to remain high. The current inpatient COVID-19 census is 29, with two deaths since Monday.

In the 24 hours preceding 9:00 am on Thursday, December 30, 171 new positive cases of COVID were diagnosed at Augusta Health testing sites. This is a new record for daily positive tests, the previous record being 120 on September 12, 2021.

This high prevalence and positivity rate is straining the demand for COVID testing at Augusta Health Urgent Cares and increasing wait times considerably.

Effective immediately, in order to prioritize patients who need treatment, Augusta Health Urgent Cares will only test those who have COVID symptoms, consistent with other area hospitals at this time.

Please only go to Urgent Care for COVID-19 testing if you have symptoms of COVID. COVID-19 tests are available at local pharmacies for those who do not have symptoms.

The Emergency Department should be used only by those with critical care needs. Augusta Health is reviewing its current visitation policy and will post the revised policy on Monday.

Augusta Health continues to align with the CDC’s isolation and quarantine guidance and recommendations for those who test positive or are exposed to COVID-19, and advises all who might have been exposed to follow the recommendations, too. These recommendations were updated on December 27.

This weekend is New Year’s Eve, a time for celebration.  Please celebrate responsibly:  Assess the risk for exposure to COVID-19 and adapt plans as necessary to keep yourself and everyone in the community safe and healthy.  Stay home if possible.  Social distance, mask and wash hands frequently.

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