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Virginia hospitals report 16% more beds filled with COVID patients since start of the year

Virginia hospitals report 16% more beds filled with COVID patients since start of the year

COVID-19 Hospitalizations

The number of COVID-19 patients in area hospitals continued to rise during the past week as the effects of exposure over the holidays have taken their toll locally and across Virginia.

The number of Virginia’s hospital beds filled with COVID patients has gone up 16% since the start of the year. Gov. Ralph Northam plans at 2 p.m. Thursday to provide updates on the virus surge and the vaccine rollout.

Hospitals in the Near Southwest Health Region, which includes the Roanoke and New River valleys, reported Wednesday that they were caring for 450 known COVID patients and 30 who are suspected of having the virus but are awaiting test results. That is an increase of 30 additional beds occupied by COVID patients over the last week.

Of those, 93 patients live in the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts and 63 in the New River Health District, according to separate reports by the districts.

The Roanoke and Alleghany districts reported Tuesday that of the 93 hospital patients, 70 were admitted during the past week.

Across Virginia, 3,208 hospital beds were occupied by COVID patients Wednesday, a count that has continued to increase each day of the new year. The count on Jan. 1 was 2,754.

At the start of November, about 1,000 people with COVID were inpatients. By Dec. 1, following the Thanksgiving holiday, the count had risen to 1,767.

The Southwest was already seeing a surge before the extended holiday season, but patient counts have increased by 14.5% since Jan. 1.

All regions of the state are seeing an increase. Central Virginia is experiencing the highest surge as hospitals were dealing with 33% more patients on Wednesday than they were 12 days earlier.

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