UVA Health preparing for potential COVID-19 surge in the coming weeks

UVA Health preparing for potential COVID-19 surge in the coming weeks

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - As students go back to school and people return to work, the UVA Health System is gearing up for a potential surge in coronavirus cases.

“We’ve been very lucky that the COVID counts have been relatively low in our community compared to other parts of the country, but we also do want to be prepared in case there are any spikes,” UVA Spokesperson Josh Barney said.

The UVA Health System says it has not been overwhelmed yet, but it is preparing for a potential rush of COVID-19 patients.

“This includes getting extra PPE, which is personal protective equipment for our staff, and then we have also been increasing testing both in the community and in the hospital among our patients and staff,” Barney said.

Back in March, UVA Health began postponing elective surgeries. If cases continue to rise canceling them could be a possibility.

“If we had to, we would consider pausing elective surgeries again because of course we have to prioritize the people and resources we have,” Barney said. “At the same time, if people help us keep those numbers down we hope we won’t have to do those things.”

Barney says healthcare workers are on standby in case they need to jump into action.

“We’re also trying to hire more staff. That’s a very competitive thing at any point, especially during a pandemic. We’re working on both fronts,” he said.

But for now, UVA Health is urging the community to continue doing its part and keep the spread of the virus at a minimum.

“If we can get through this Christmas and keep our loved ones and families healthy, then hopefully we can enjoy many more holidays with them in the future when we can be together,” Barney said.

UVA Health also has extra space available for coronavirus patients in case the hospital system becomes too crowded.

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