Sentara reports higher-than-ever COVID-19 caseloads

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 4:55 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - As the omicron variant spreads, Sentara Healthcare is reporting higher-than-ever caseloads.

System officials said that has a lot to do with the transmissibility of the omicron variant. The demand for testing is up, and the positivity rate is, too.

“We’re seeing unprecedented levels of testing requests. Interestingly enough, especially home tests, have become in short supply,” said Dr. Jordan Asher, Sentara’s Chief Physician Executive.

Emergency department visits have increased, along with the inpatient census. As of Jan. 6, Sentara RMH is managing 52 patients with COVID-19.

“We’re seeing the wave rise everywhere,” Asher said.

Asher said the emergency department isn’t the right place to get tested for COVID-19. Sentara is asking the community to only visit the emergency department with medical emergencies or worsening COVID-19 symptoms.

Trends of more emergency visits and higher inpatient census are consistent throughout the system.

“We are definitely seeing increased rates of the ED and hospitalizations throughout all our markets and North Carolina, that includes Rockingham, that includes Charlottesville, that includes Northern Virginia,” Asher said.

He said the number of patients hospitalized in each area reflects the corresponding positivity rate, as recorded by the Virginia Department of Health.

“The higher the positivity rate, the higher the numbers in those areas. I think that’s fairly consistent,” he said.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital has the highest COVID-positive census with 80 patients.

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