As winter months approach, Lynchburg hospital officials worry about rising COVID-19 cases


LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Officials at Centra Health in Lynchburg spoke with WFXR in-depth about their change in visitation policy.

As reported earlier this week, Centra Health is limiting the number of loved ones allowed to visit patients at Lynchburg General Hospital to two. They say a rising number of cases in the community has them concerned, particularly rising numbers among young people who are at less risk of serious illness but who can easily spread the coronavirus to more vulnerable populations.

“We have to mask,” said Dr. Christopher Lewis, Centra’s COVID-19 incident commander, “to keep our distance from each other when it’s advisable. And just be safe, I can’t stress that enough. This isn’t over and winter will be a challenge.”

As of Wednesday, Oct. 28, there are 11 COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit out of a total of 15 beds. Another 20 patients are on the COVID-19 floor, which is for patients that require hospitalization but are not as severe as the ICU.

They say the number of hospitalizations have been rising throughout the month of October. The hospital is preparing to take on even more cases in the winter months by adding another 18 ICU beds, more than doubling that unit’s capacity.

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