wsls logo

Sovah Health struggles with staffing amid COVID-19 pandemic

Both hospitals have dozens of COVID-19 patients

As hospitals across Southwest and Central Virginia continue to treat dozens of COVID-19 patients, they're also battling what some are calling a second pandemic.

DANVILLE, Va – Frontline healthcare workers have faced unprecedented challenges over the last year and a half.

Both Sovah Health hospitals in Martinsville and Danville still have dozens of COVID-19 patients who need round-the-clock care.

“Ninety-three percent of them have been unvaccinated. Again, the data continues to show that the vaccine is effective in preventing severe impact to the patients who have COVID,” Sovah Health CEO Alan Larson said.

Sovah is one of many hospitals nationwide struggling with staffing.

“In these challenging times, not only of the COVID pandemic but the staffing pandemic, I read recently that there are over 500,000 healthcare workers who have exited their work since the beginning of this year,” Larson said.

The hospital recently had a short period where elective surgeries had to be put on hold.

“We appreciate your patience with us as we are reduced in our staffing because of this transit of this second pandemic the workforce shortage that we’re all dealing with,” Larson said.

Still, staff said the best way to support healthcare workers during this time is to get the vaccine.

“We again encourage you if you’ve not yet been vaccinated, please do so, not only for yourself but also for the community,” Larson said.

About the Author:

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