Friday, Jan. 7, statewide COVID-19’s hospitalization count of 3,329 set a one-day record since the pandemic began, eclipsing the previous one-day peak of 3,201 hospitalizations on Jan. 13, 2021.
COVID-19 hospitalizations are up nearly 200 percent across Virginia (194 percent) in the past month. And hospitalizations are up across all regions of the commonwealth with significant increases recently documented in the central, eastern, and northern regions.
This is now the fifth surge of the pandemic. The previous four were in Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall and Winter 2020-2021, and Summer 2021.
Hospitals across Virginia continue to make operational adjustments related to things like visitation restrictions, scaling back or postponing non-emergency procedures, and adjustments to to respond to the current and evolving circumstances of the pandemic. While each facility and the situation it is confronting is unique, hospitals and their teams have consistently adapted to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic.
As adaptable as hospitals have been, it is important to remember that the health care delivery system does not have unlimited resources (For instance, staffing challenges which pre-dated the pandemic have been magnified due to various factors, including staff who are sidelined while isolated/quarantining due to illness or exposure).
The current situation is serious and if things remain on the current trajectory for an extended period – particularly because hospitalizations as a metric tend to slightly lag behind rising case counts, and some of the modeling projections suggest that this current surge may not yet have reached the point where it will crest and begin to recede (some modeling suggests that may occur later this month) – Virginia’s hospitals could face the possibility of straining the limits of the system’s capacity.