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Centra says it has capacity for virus patients

Centra Health officials remain confident that the area and the state will have enough hospital capacity if the peak remains around the projected date of April 27.

“We are not going to have a shortage of hospital beds, ICU beds or ventilators in the state,” Centra CEO Andy Mueller said in a Thursday, April 16, press conference. “We are expecting that will be consistent in the Centra footprint as well.”

Mueller said while different models show different peak dates, the consensus is that social distancing is working and should be continued. He did say is about time to consider when health facilities should begin providing services to regular patients again.

“We’ve got capacity in the state, which is great news for now,” he said. At some point, I think all of us are going to have to start having rational conversations about when is it the right time to resume some of our other care delivery to ensure our patients are getting the treatment they deserve.”

Chris Thomson, chief medical officer, said Centra has had 30 patients hospitalized at Lynchburg General and Southside Community Hospital. As of Thursday, Thomson said Southside had three COVID-19 positive patients in the hospital currently. Thomson said there have been seven or eight patients total at Southside, including one patient in ICU. One death of a suspected COVID-19 patient has occurred at Southside Community Hospital. Thomson said the death occurred in the emergency department.

Thomson said 16 to 18 patients have been discharged after recovering from the virus.

“People are getting better from this illness,” Thomson said.