Hospitalizations are rising in North Carolina, Virginia

COVID-19 ventilator
Posted at 6:56 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 22:16:18-05

NORFOLK, Va. - The number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital reached a new record on Monday in North Carolina with 3,192 people reported hospitalized.

In Virginia, more than 2,500 people are hospitalized. That number, though, is down slightly compared to earlier in the month.

"That is a concerning trend. We did see a bit of a bump in hospitalizations post Thanksgiving. It's conceivable and possible we could see another bump post holiday season," said Julian Walker, the Vice President of Communications at the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.

Still, in Virginia thousands of beds and ventilators remain available. A big concern is making sure healthcare workers can staff the hospitals. "If you get to a critical point where you have too many staff that are in quarantine or isolation period, you could get to a point where it's not so much about available beds, it's about having the necessary compliment of staff to tend to all those occupied beds," said Walker.

The good news is vaccinations are on the way. Health officials in both states urging people to remain cautious for now. "We understand people are tired. People have COVID fatigue. Everyone wants this to be over, but the more we all practice personal responsibility, the sooner we can get through this," said Walker.

While other states like California are worried about the system being overwhelmed, health officials are hoping that won't happen here. "While individual hospitals have had elevated numbers, we've never gotten to the point where hospitals have gotten to the brink of the statewide system being overwhelmed like other states have, so that's positive news," said Walker.