Centra Health says the number of hospitalized patients with COVID is on the rise again.   Lynchburg General Hospital currently has 60 patients. That’s compared to 30 just before Thanksgiving.  Officials say the cases are the Delta variant but they are preparing for a possible escalation in Omicron cases in the coming weeks.    They also say the healthcare system is strained due to staffing shortages and local nursing facilities being unable to accommodate discharged patients due to staffing shortages and COVID outbreaks.  Centra is asking the public to considering testing for COVID before Christmas gatherings,  and they’re encouraging people to get vaccinated and a booster shot. 

Here is the entire news release from Centra:

Centra Provides Update to Continued COVID-19 Response and Capacity
December 20, 2021—After a several week decrease in the COVID census, Centra Lynchburg
General Hospital and Centra Southside Community Hospital in Farmville have seen an overall
increase in COVID hospitalizations.
• Current Lynchburg General Hospital COVID census is 60 patients with 17 ICU level
patients. To put this into perspective, Lynchburg General Hospital had 30 COVID
inpatients just prior to Thanksgiving.
• Current Centra Southside Community Hospital COVID census is 8 inpatients, bringing
our overall system total to 68 today.
o We experienced significant surges in December 2020/January 2021 last year.
o We continue to maintain the COVID dashboard found on
While our current local COVID infections are likely the Delta variant of the coronavirus, the
Omicron variant has been identified in Northern Virginia, and will likely be present in our local
population shortly, if it is not already here. We are still learning about Omicron, but data
suggests it is significantly more transmissible than prior variants, including the Delta variant. We
are as a system preparing to see a possible significant escalation in COVID infections in our
community over the next several weeks.
Our healthcare system is currently experiencing significant strain due to multiple factors in
addition to COVID census increase: seasonal increase in general (non-COVID) medical care
needs, a national staffing shortage, multiple other regional medical systems also being
overwhelmed and going on diversion and local nursing facilities being unable to accommodate
discharges due to staffing shortages and COVID outbreaks.
While we are monitoring our situation closely, we are asking our community for help. With the
holidays approaching, we ask our community to gather safely by considering testing for the
presence of COVID, including home testing before gathering in large groups and homes. And
lastly, if you haven’t already, vaccination and boosters remain the single most effective tool we
have to stop the spread and reach community immunity.
Most important to understand, we have a courageous, dedicated, self-sacrificing force of
Caregivers that is simply exhausted, but continues to care for our community despite these
Centra remains committed to informed transparency as we continue to battle both COVID and
our capacity challenges.