Virginia hospital workers strained due to post-holiday spike in COVID-19 cases

"Additional stress will really cost lives."
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Posted at 10:30 AM, Dec 30, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- Just days after some families and friends gather for Christmas, Dr. David Lanning, VCU Medical Center Interim Chief Medical Officer, said they are seeing a post-holiday spike in coronavirus cases.

"Unfortunately, while it did seem as though things were trying to level off a little bit, a week or so ago. The last few days, we're starting to see a ramp up even further," said Lanning.

That ramp up is now straining an already weakened system, according to Lanning.

"We've had now over 100 positive patients, or people under investigation for several days now, the positivity rate in our testing is climbing up towards 12-13 percent," he explained.


Numbers across the country and the Commonwealth are on the rise but Lanning says it's not just ICU rooms being strained.

Staffing challenges in area hospitals are taking their toll on nurses and others in the medical profession.

"The fact, we have a couple dozen... there puts a significant strain on nursing staff," said Lanning.

Now with New Year's Eve just days away, there is a very real potential again, for large gatherings.

"We can't emphasize enough how important it is for people to stay distanced," said Lanning.

"We're already stressing the system in a significant way and additional stress will really cost lives, in our community and in the hospital."

But Lanning says he is confident that the end of the virus is in sight.

"Hopefully this is the last and final chapter," he said. "If we can get through these holidays, get enough people vaccinated, we can get this behind us."

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