Centra Lynchburg leaders see 96% increase in positive cases

There are 34 patients with virus, which is 10 more than a week ago, leaders said

LYNCHBURG, Va. – As coronavirus cases continue to rise in the Lynchburg area, doctors are taking new measures to keep patients alive.

In just two weeks, leaders at Centra Lynchburg General Hospital have seen a 96% increase in positive COVID-19 cases.

On Wednesday, Centra leaders said there are 34 patients with the virus.

That’s 10 more people compared to a week and a half ago.

Centra doctors told 10 News their first COVID-19 ICU patient is on a last resort device called ECMO.

“The COVID has ravished his lungs so much that he really can’t use his lungs, so much that he really can’t use them currently anymore to oxygenate. So, even if you put him a ventilator, that ventilator can’t flow enough oxygen into his lungs to then have the body be supported,” said Dr. Chris Lewis, VP of Medical Affairs Centra.

Centra added that for the first time in months, the Centra Southside Community Hospital hospital saw no COVID-19 positive patients.

Doctors want people to pick up the phone if the health department is calling you as a contact tracer.

In Lynchburg, Centra leaders said the Virginia Department of Health is having a hard time getting people to answer questions.

“They’ve had some difficulty with some individuals saying we don’t believe this is real. We don’t believe you’re from the VDH, hanging up that sort of thing. That makes it hard for them to do their job of keeping us all safe and keeping our community safe,” Lewis said.