UVA experiencing record COVID-19 surge

Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 5:29 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia is watching its positivity rate of COVID-19 cases rise as we head into the new year. With most students off UVA Grounds for the holidays, the real concern is at UVA Health, where steps are being taken to stem the tide.

The percent positivity rate around the university was more than 16% Wednesday, December 29. This number includes students, as well as staff for both the university and UVA Health.

Data from after the holiday weekend is showing 118 cases in the university’s faculty and staff.

Fifty-four new cases were logged Monday, the highest daily count since UVA started tracking case data back in August 2020.

“It’s really important that we know that we’re taking good care of our employees and that that they can then subsequently take care of patients,” Doctor Amy Mathers with UVA Health said. “We don’t want patients exposed to employees that are COVID positive, and we don’t want other employees exposed.”

Dr. Mathers is helping with testing at UVA Health.

“Symptomatic employees can go and get tested at COVID Clinic, which has been in operation since the beginning of the pandemic and then another option for travel are asymptomatic testing that we have for employees for a long time, and the saliva testing,” she said.

These options have been available for a while, but to help ensure community safety, UVA Health is hosting pop-up weekend clinics for its employees.

“The one thing that I would say is I think our employees are potentially more proactive about getting tested, and that’s a good thing because they’re being conscientious and trying to keep patients safe,” Dr. Mathers said.

Mathers says UVA Health employees are continuing to work through the pandemic that’s taking a toll on everyone.

“I think we can meet the challenge, and I think we can still provide good patient care,” Dr. Mathers said.

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