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Hampton Roads Sentara hospitals see 'influx of patients'

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Posted at 2:49 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 07:16:32-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Back in April, Sentara hospitals in Hampton Roads saw a peak of about 60 people in the hospital with COVID-19. As of Tuesday, the number has grown to around 170.

"We are doing everything we can to continue to take care of everybody safely and with the highest quality care," said Dr. Jordan Asher, the Senior Vice President and Chief Physician Executive with Sentara Healthcare.

Following other trends, Dr. Asher says younger people are seeing an uptick of cases and hospitalizations. "Younger people are definitely part of the population that we're seeing getting admitted and that end up being really sick," he said.

Sentara is continuing to make adjustments to keep up with demand, but Dr. Asher is worried about the future. "I'm worried about three weeks from now. I'm worried about four weeks from now. I'm worried about the fall because we want to be able to provide everything for anyone that needs it," he said.

Health officials say Hampton Roads is a hot spot. On Tuesday, both Virginia Beach and Norfolk had more than 100 new cases reported.

Dr. Asher wants everyone to get the message: Practice social distancing, wear a mask and avoid large groups. "We're all in this together, and we really need to come together," he said.

Related: Sentara's Chief Physician Executive puts out public plea after rise in coronavirus cases

Still, there is at least one positive - doctors are better prepared to treat patients than they were at the beginning when they were learning about the disease. "We have been able to learn, so that has helped," he said. "We believe your chances of getting out of the hospital are greater."

Dr. Asher wants people to avoid getting sick, so they don't have to come to the hospital.

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