NORFOLK, Va. - The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reports COVID-19 hospitalizations have jumped by 1008% since July.
"What we're saying clearly, unequivocally to people is please, please, please, if you do not have a vaccine, please go get one. They're available. They're free and they are safe," said Julian Walker, the vice president of communications for VHHA.
VHHA reports there were just under 200 people in the hospital in Virginia with COVID at the start of July. On Thursday, that number is up to nearly 2,200. Cases have also risen by more than 1200% in the same time period.
"I would say that the consistent trend and pattern has been that the majority of hospitalized patients across our membership, especially in this most recent window are people who were unvaccinated," said Walker.
While the numbers are up big, VHHA reports there are still about 2,600 hospital beds available across the Commonwealth. Still, Hampton Roads is of particular concern, especially ahead of the fall.
"The fact that [a spike] happened before the fall, before more people were congregating indoors, before kids went back to school, that is concerning," said Walker.
Vaccination clinics have been happening Thursday at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk.
"I think it's still important to wear a mask and stay safe, but I do feel better," said Debra Jones, who got her third Pfizer dose due to underlying health conditions.