Central Virginia health care workers make holiday plea as hospital rates increase

Central Virginia health care workers make holiday plea as hospital rates increase
(FILE) (Source: VCU Health)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Frontline health care workers in central Virginia are making a plea before the holidays. They want you to be mindful of your plans with COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise in the commonwealth.

“It’s been kind of scary,” Henrico Doctors Hospital Nursing Director Ashley Lewis said.

Health care workers are sharing their stories and hoping their words will leave an impact on you at home.

“Everyone I know is very tired. We’ve been at this for a long time, it’s very frustrating,” Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center Interim Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Lanning said.

That frustration comes as no surprise as hospitalizations are up across the state.

“We need to stay safe. We need to sacrifice maybe these holidays so we can have future holidays safe and sound with our loved ones,” Dr. Vito Capotorto, with Henrico Doctors Hospital, said.

Those working inside hospitals say they’re also worried about their own. Doctors and nurses are getting coronavirus, mainly from the community, and are sidelined at work. They are concerned about fewer hands being able to help the sickest of the sick in the coming months.

“It’s a bit of a strain, not only because of the COVID-positive patients but because of the health care team members are becoming positive and out for a period of time. So it’s putting additional strain on staff to cover all the shifts,” Dr. Lanning said.

And while it is scary, health care workers say they are also hopeful now that two vaccines are out there and being put into the arms of front line workers.

“Everyone wants to be together with family and friends during this holiday season, but with the rise of cases, we just need to sacrifice this year and social distance,” said Lewis.

Hospitals are normally busy this time of year usually with colds and the flu, so it’s a hard balancing act for front line workers dealing with all that and the pandemic.

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