UVA Health seeing uptick in COVID cases
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Hospitals throughout the country are seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases, and UVA Health is no exception.
At the beginning of August, UVA Health was admitting an average of 2.7 covid patients per week, and now that number has risen to 11.4.
“We’ve seen a notable increase in the number of patients here hospitalized at UVA, probably worth emphasizing, though, that it’s still pretty low level,” Doctor Costi Sifri said.
Although the numbers have more than tripled, Dr. Sifri says it’s significantly lower than the thirty to forty patients on average the hospital was seeing last winter.
“It’s nowhere near the the heights that we saw earlier,” Dr. Sifri said.
Some are speculating that the rise is from the start of school and moving back indoors, but Dr. Sifri says, in his opinion, that’s not the main cause.
“We’re all thinking that this may be a reflection of some waning immunity at the population level, perhaps combined with the emergence of some new Covid strains that may be able to skirt existing immunity to a certain extent,” Dr. Sifri said.
Because of this, he anticipates a new booster to be released soon - he’s just not sure who the vaccine will be recommended for.
“It would appear that the FDA and CDC will be reviewing those data sometime in September, and we’re expecting that the vaccines will be available probably the second or third week of September,” Dr. Sifri said.
As for wearing masks - Dr. Sifri says it’s up to the individual to evaluate their own risk.
“We really can’t understate that while Covid, for many people, experience a fairly mild infection, there still are significant consequences to getting Covid. There still is a specter of long Covid for individuals so that that is a significant thing to be concerned about,” Dr. Sifri said.
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