Centra Health does not expect short-term impacts to day-to-day operations after Biden pledges to deploy troops to struggling hospitals


LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — President Joe Biden has doubled down on his winter COVID-19 plans, preparing to deploy an additional 1,000 troops with medical skills, as well as federal medical personnel and extra equipment, to struggling hospitals across the country.

Following Biden’s announcement on Tuesday, Dec. 21, Centra Health told WFXR News that it is experiencing some significant strain due to several factors — including general seasonal increase — they do not expect to need help from any service members.

In other words, Centra Health does not anticipate much will change in the short term at Lynchburg General Hospital or their other facilities.

Centra Health shared the following statement with WFXR News:

“Although Centra is not immune to these challenges, we do not anticipate any military being deployed to Centra over the holiday. We are monitoring our situation closely and we are asking our community for help. With the holidays approaching, we ask our community to gather safely by considering testing for the presence of COVID, including home testing before gathering in large groups and homes. And lastly, if you haven’t already, vaccination and boosters remain the single most effective tool we have to stop the spread and reach community immunity.”

Other health officials are also keeping an eye on the coronavirus situation amid the holidays.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is reportedly looking forward to a different part of Biden’s plan, which pledges hundreds of millions of at-home COVID-19 tests.

“I think that is a combination of increased demand due to holiday, due to omicron, due to increased cases in general, holiday travel, combined with some supply chain issues,” said Dr. Laurie Forlano, the Community Director at the Office of Epidemiology at the VDH.

According to Dr. Forlano, even with the testing shortage, the VDH is partnering with dozens of libraries and pharmacies to help meet some of the demand for those who want rapid COVID-19 tests.

In addition, Dr. Forlano wants her team to know that she is beyond proud of their hard work throughout the pandemic.

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