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UVA Health seeing rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations, ICU numbers stay low

UVA Health says COVID-19 hospitalizations at the medical center are now starting to pick up.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 5:55 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -UVA Health says COVID-19 hospitalizations at the medical center are now starting to pick up. This comes after an increase in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks.

While hospitalizations are up, ICU patient numbers are not. Typically these two go hand and hand, though doctors with UVA Health say there are some new factors making a difference.

“The acuity does not seem to be the same as it was a few months ago, meaning fewer ICU patients at this time,” Doctor Reid Adams with UVA Health said.

Doctor Adams and Doctor Costi Sifri have been studying COVID since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s different than it was two years ago.

“Many people are vaccinated, and fully vaccinated, and boosted. “As well as a number of people, quite a few people that we know, through the Omicron surge, majority of people in the United States have had COVID,” Dr. Costi Sifri with UVA Health said.

Sifri says this type of immunity leads to less severe COVID cases. He adds another factor: The availability of drugs and therapies if you do get sick.

“It’s important to note that probably more people are still eligible for treatment with Paxlovid than are currently receiving that,” Sifri said.

As of Friday, May 20, 33 patients at the medical center have COVID, 26 of those are in the acute care beds, two in the ICU, two in pediatric units and three in labor and delivery units.

“We may see increasing deaths as hospitalization numbers rise, moving forward and I think that is a particular concern, as we see the this this summer surge start,” Sifri said.

Doctors say the positivity rate in Charlottesville is 12%. Though for UVA staff it’s at 26%, which is starting to look similar to what is was during the Delta variant.

“That’s reflective of what’s occurring in the community. So, I think that what occurs in the community, affects those people here who work and are educated in UVA health,” Sifri said.

Charlottesville is still at a medium transmission level. This is something doctors will continue to watch.

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