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Centra says hospitalizations have doubled in a week

The number of COVID patients at Centra Lynchburg General Hospital has more than doubled in the past week. 

Centra Southside Community Hospital in Farmville currently has four COVID patients. The hospital had zero COVID patients as recently as Monday, July 26.

 The number of COVID patients at Centra’s Lynchburg hospital is 34. That includes 12 in intensive care. The hospital had 16 COVID patients last week.

 A press release from Centra said hospital officials have seen a shift in the demographics of COVID patients with half of the patients younger than 59 years old. Last year, younger patients only represented 25% of COVID patients.

The current COVID patients also tend to not have any preexisting conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. The release said, unlike the original COVID-19 virus, the current patients with the delta variant are more likely to require intensive care or a ventilator during their hospital stay.

 The press release also said the majority of COVID patients in the hospital are not vaccinated.

 “We implore the community to get vaccinated, as it is the most effective tool we have to stop the spread and reach community immunity,” the release said.

 The Virginia Department of Health announced a mass vaccination clinic at the War Memorial Building at 16330 Dunn Street in Amelia County. The clinic will offer the Pfizer vaccine for anyone 12 and older and the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine for anyone 18 and older.  No appointments are needed.

 “We’ve seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in the area, particularly the delta variant,” Dr. Sulola Adekoya, acting director of the Piedmont Health District, said. “The best defense against the delta variant is vaccination. This clinic will offer the community another chance to get the vaccine. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”