Centra Health loosens visitation restrictions as COVID-19 cases drop
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Centra Health announced Wednesday they are loosening visitation restrictions. Doctors say this doesn’t mean we won’t see another surge in COVID-19 cases. “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.
Should daylight saving be extended year-round? It could affect your health
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Daylight saving is Sunday, March 14, and the clock continues to tick on an old debate: should it be extended? At least 15 states, including Virginia, have introduced some sort of legislation in recent years to make daylight saving year-round. “I’m 84 years old, and I’ve been living with daylight saving time and it hasn’t changed my body,” said Roger Kelly. “Go to bed like 15 minutes earlier, get up 15 minutes earlier. As for whether we’ll ever see daylight saving extended — only time will tell.
Centra frontline workers reflect on one year of COVID-19 pandemic
LYNCHBURG, Va. – One year after COVID-19 hit our area, Centra Health leaders recalled Friday how the pandemic has impacted their care. But COVID-19 was a storm Centra couldn’t forecast, a health care hurricane forcing them to change course. A panel of frontline workers said looking back on a full year of the pandemic, they had to assess how they’d deal with the volume. Centra reports they finished summer 2020 with 45 positive cases, though another wave brought more patients and a record-high of 133 positive cases in January. While cases and COVID-related deaths are decreasing, Dr. Cook said the biggest challenge is making sure people maintain precautions as vaccines rollout.
Health leaders preparing to distribute newly-approved Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine
ROANOKE, Va. – There are continuing signs of hope across the nation as a third COVID-19 vaccine is getting ready for rollout. Local health leaders are preparing as Virginia is expected to receive 69,000 doses of the newly-approved Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine this week. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a bit different from the other options on the market, leading to different opinions. Morrow said they’ll let patients know which shot they’re getting when they’re making an appointment. “If you get offered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and you prefer to wait, we won’t kick you off the list that’s for sure,” Morrow said.
President and CEO of Centra in Lynchburg resigns
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The president and CEO of Centra has resigned. Health leaders say Doctor Andy Mueller submitted his resignation on Jan. 26th and will become CEO of MaineHealth in Portland. Amy Ray, chairman of Centra’s Board of Directors, praised Mueller for what he’s accomplished in the amount of time. Lynchburg attorney Richard Tugman will be the interim president and CEO. He’s been with Centra since 2016 and currently serves as president and CEO of Piedmont Community Health Plan.
Centra Health working to get more COVID-19 vaccines in arms
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Centra Health is working to get more shots in arms. You can get the vaccine if you’re a frontline worker, someone over the age of 65, or qualify in the phase ‘1a’ or ‘1b’ categories. “Our hospital sites do continue to administer vaccine to those healthcare personnel who fell into phase 1A. And our Centra medical group started vaccinating as of last Friday,” said Dr. Michael Elliott. We’re told COVID-19 related deaths are still up, but they’re happening at a slower pace.
Centra Health announces COVID-19 vaccinations at medical offices
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Vaccination appointments can now be scheduled at Centra Health medical offices. Officials say you must fit into the ‘1a’ and ‘1b’ categories and have an established relationship with a Centra primary care provider. Likely the first doses will go in arms, within our Centra medical group offices, on Friday of this week,” said Michael Elliott, Centra’s senior vice president and chief transformation Officer. Centra also released its latest numbers on hospitalizations and COVID-related deaths. To put it into perspective, that total was 183 as of Jan 7.
Meet Lynchburg’s 2021 New Year’s Baby!
LYNCHBURG, Va. – For one family, 2021 is already off to an incredible start. At 1:43 a.m., the Van De Perre family welcomed its newest member, Cooper Bryce. Little Cooper is the first baby born within the Centra Health system. I also knew there was a mother in the room next to me pushing when I was pushing. The hat Cooper is wearing was made by the mother of a Labor and Delivery nurse specifically for Centra’s New Years’ Baby.
‘Nerve-wracking and rewarding’: Virginia health care systems begin vaccinating frontline workers for COVID-19
ROANOKE, Va. – After months of waiting, frontline workers in our area are now being vaccinated for COVID-19. The shipment rolled into the region Tuesday and Wednesday and priority workers started rolling up their sleeves. “I think the federal express driver had never had such an exciting package on their truck,” said Alan Larson, Sovah Health, Market President and CEO Sovah Health in Danville. She says while she loves caring for the sick, this pandemic has taken a physical and emotional toll on healthcare workers. After playing defense for months, the small vaccine is a big weapon in the fight to put the pandemic behind us.
WATCH: Centra Health gives update on COVID-19 vaccine
Centra Health is set to give an update on coronavirus and the distribution of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. The FDA has cleared the Pfizer vaccine for use in the United States, and Virginia’s first dose is set to be administered around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Norfolk. Vaccines in our area will start being administered on Wednesday at the earliest. Ralph Northam laid out the state’s three-phase plan for vaccine distribution. On Tuesday, Virginia reported 3,160 new coronavirus cases, bringing the statewide total to 288,309 since the pandemic began.
Wreath donation cheers up residents at Centra Health nursing facilities
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The holiday spirit was alive and well at Centra Health thanks to a special delivery. Members of Scott Insurance in Lynchburg donated 160 hand-made wreaths to place on doors at Centra nursing facilities. Residents at the Guggenheimer Health & Rehabilitation Center also joined in on the decorating. One Centra official says this helped to bring hope, since interactions have been limited during the pandemic. Scott Insurance will also decorate two other Centra nursing facilities.
Local health experts discuss vaccine distribution, latest COVID-19 numbers
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Health officials in the Southwest Region, including Carilion, Centra, LewisGale, and Sovah, report 280 patients are hospitalized with the coronavirus, 61 are in the ICU and 30 are on ventilators. At Centra Health, officials are unsure when they’ll get the vaccine or how. “They do likely have some amount of immunity to it, unclear of how much and for how long. We still don’t still know is that enough immunity to protect them for a good enough while that we’d say, ‘well, let’s not vaccine,” said Dr. Christopher Lewis of Centra Health. Centra officials say they’re not going to mandate it for caregivers but strongly encourage it.
Centra Health among the hospitals feeling the strain as coronavirus cases continue rising
LYNCHBURG, Va. – As coronavirus cases continue increasing across the nation, health care providers here at home are feeling the strain as well. Centra Health announced Tuesday that it expanded its ICU capacity, now boasting 67 ICU level beds. The move comes after realizing limited critical care capacity was a vulnerability. Dr. Christopher Lewis, Centra Health’s Vice President of Medical Affairs, said that as the number of COVID-19 cases increases in the community, so do the cases among health care workers. While Centra is seeing a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations, at this point, the numbers remain lower than August’s peak.
With Virginia’s coronavirus cases nearing a new milestone, health care leaders continue their fight
ROANOKE, Va. – COVID-19 has been in Virginia for more than eight months and health leaders are learning more about the virus every day. As of Friday, Virginia is reporting 199,262 coronavirus cases since March, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Carilion Clinic, Centra Health, Sovah Health, LewisGale Health and the Salem Veterans Affairs Hospital now exchange COVID-19 hospitalization data and prevention strategies every week. Carilion Clinic reports there are 203 COVID-19 hospitalizations across the aforementioned health care systems with 38 patients in intensive care and 18 on a ventilator. “This is us against a virus," Lewis said.
Centra Health announces its number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has leveled off
LYNCHBURG, Va. Centra Health leaders now see a sign of hope in the ongoing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. In a virtual press conference Wednesday, Centra Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Christopher Lewis said the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in its system has leveled off during the past few days. 40 people are hospitalized across Centra with COVID-19, and only 10 of them require treatment in an intensive care unit. Lewis said Centra made a big decision about its two COVID-19 ICU centers based on these numbers. We have to live with COVID, Lewis said.
Centra Health employees receive lunch from Macados thanks to Food for Frontline
LYNCHBURG, Va. Some of the most important people during this pandemic have been those who clean hospitals, helping to stop the spread of the virus. On Friday, those employees at Centra Health in Lynchburg got lunch thanks to Food for Frontline. Macados in Lynchburg delivered 60 lunches to the environmental services department, bought with donations to the initiative from 10 News viewers. One environmental services employee said they certainly hear everyones Thank yous during this time but pointed out they do more than clean rooms. It was very surprising, and we really do have some really great people that cares, said Harrick Horsley, Environmental Services Technician.
Centra creates mini grocery stores for its own frontline workers
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Centra Health is helping its frontline workers purchase the basic needs that have become difficult to find. It opened mini grocery stores at all hospital campuses in Lynchburg, Bedford and Farmville. At a low cost, over 800 pounds of chicken, 400 pounds of deli meat and 6,000 rolls of toilet paper have been sold. Centra says it still has enough food to feed its patients. It will continue this effort as long as it needs to.
New school opens for students living with autism, developmental disabilities
ROANOKE, Va. - A local school for students living with autism is expanding to better meet the needs of students. Centra Health opened its second Rivermont School in Roanoke. The new school is at the old Piggly Wiggly grocery store along Riverland Road. It's designed for kids on the autism spectrum and with other developmental disabilities. Rivermont also helps students with job skill training and life skills, like making their bed or doing laundry.