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Centra Health loosens visitation restrictions as COVID-19 cases drop

New protocols take effect Friday, March 19th

Centra Health loosens visitation restrictions
Centra Health loosens visitation restrictions

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Centra Health announced Wednesday they are loosening visitation restrictions.

As of March 19, patients on non-COVID floors will be allowed two visitors at a time, while those in the ER and procedural areas will be permitted one guest at a time.

Doctors say this doesn’t mean we won’t see another surge in COVID-19 cases.

“I wish I could say ‘never’. I think it makes it less and less likely the more vaccines rollout,” said Dr. Christopher Lewis, Centra’s CCO.

So the healthcare system will continue to have safety precautions.

“We are still mindful that our work here is not done yet; so, therefore, at the hospital, we still are very much requiring everybody to mask, continue to socially distance in our facilities,” said Lewis.

Centra reports vaccinations are up, administering more than 30,000 doses as of March 16.

Dr. Michael Elliott, Centra’s chief transformation officer, says more than half of their caregivers have been vaccinated.

And they hope to have more doses soon.

“We are extremely encouraged to hear all of the news about the increased vaccine supply, which we anticipate to hear from [Virginia Department of Health] by the first of April. We should be at a much different situation from a vaccine supply standpoint,” said Elliott.

He adds the demand is so high, Centra has not wasted a single dose.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.