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COVID hospitalizations on the rise across southwest Virginia

Young adults are having more severe cases of COVID in our region

It doesn't seem like the surge of COVID-19 cases slowing down anytime soon.
It doesn't seem like the surge of COVID-19 cases slowing down anytime soon.

ROANOKE, Va – Healthcare leaders across southwest Virginia say this current surge in COVID-19 cases was entirely preventable.

“Medical providers are tired, also angry. Angry that they continue to risk their life,” SOVAH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sheranda Gunn-Nolan said.

Nearly 300 people across our region are hospitalized for COVID-19.

Medical facilities like SOVAH health are left evaluating their capacity by the hour.

“We know things change rapidly. We want to make sure that we’re still able to provide care for those people that aren’t COVID patients,” Gunn-Nolan said.

Most healthcare providers say the average age of COVID patients is decreasing by the day.

“18-year-olds have come in and needed aggressive interventions. We also have patients in their 30s and 40s on life support and not make it,” Gunn-Nolan said.

“We’re not surprised by the uptake what’s of concern to us is the severity of the uptick,” LewisGale Chief Medical Officer Dr. Carnell Cooper said.

Dr. Cooper said he wants to provide all the resources he can for his staff as they combat another surge.

“It is exhausting, and I continue to talk to them about making sure they protect themselves, and they do things themselves to event definitely from burnout as well,” Cooper said.

Health leaders expect cases to continue to rise over the next few weeks.

And while they do not want to discourage anyone from going to the hospital, they say the vaccine is the best way to lower cases and move past the pandemic.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.