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Sentara RMH experiencing increase in COVID hospitalizations

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in the valley Sentara RMH says it has seen a consistent...
With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in the valley Sentara RMH says it has seen a consistent increase in hospitalizations over the last three weeks. The hospital currently has the highest number of COVID patients it’s seen since the beginning of the summer.(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 6:55 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in the Shenandoah Valley, Sentara RMH officials say it has seen a consistent increase in hospitalizations over the last three weeks. The hospital currently has the highest number of COVID patients it’s seen since the beginning of the summer.

Sentara staff say they have seen on average seven to ten new people hospitalized with COVID each week for the past few weeks, but so far the hospital has plenty of capacity left. The hospital did not release the exact number of COVID patients in the ICU but they say it is in double figures and nowhere near full capacity of the hosptials 238 total beds.

They do note that the critical care unit is very busy, but with mostly non-COVID patients.

According to Sentara RMH, around 98 percent of those hospitalized during the recent COVID spike are unvaccinated.

“The majority of patients we’re seeing are unvaccinated and that’s why as a community we’re making the urge and the call for those who have the ability to get vaccinated to please do so,” said Rita Bunch, vice president of operations for Sentara RMH.

Bunch said those numbers are comparable to what hospitals in Staunton and Charlottesville are seeing. Vaccine hesitancy is one of the factors contributing to the rise in cases locally.

“We went from having large surges of folks getting the vaccine down to 10 or less at each clinic getting the vaccine, so I think it’s a combination of people not getting the vaccine and the Delta variant coming in,” said Bunch.

Bunch said the recent increase in cases should be a reminder to the community to remain vigilant, encouraging everyone to wear masks in doors, wash their hands and get vaccinated.

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