With Virginia’s COVID caseload surging and doctors and nurses straining to meet the challenge in a now fourth wave, Virginia hospitals are begging individuals to take greater precautions — up to and including vaccinations — in order to help relieve the strain.

Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) released an urgent plea as COVID cases continue to skyrocket as schools re-open and businesses bring people indoors:

As of today (Sept. 9, 2021), hospitals in the Commonwealth are treating nearly 2,200 patients who have been admitted for COVID-19. Meanwhile, the state seven-day average of new cases had risen to 3,003 as of the beginning of September. In just two months, hospitalizations have increased by 1,008 percent and new cases have jumped by 1,217 percent (a chart reflecting the evolving trend of COVID-19 hospitalizations is embedded in the attached document).

With hospital inpatient and ICU beds already filling ahead of a looming fall surge, it is imperative for unvaccinated Virginians to do their part to help save lives and slow the spread of this deadly virus by getting vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are readily available in communities across Virginia. They are free and they are highly effective in preventing infection and hospitalization. Virginia Department of Health data shows that since Jan. 17, 2021, just 0.4 percent of fully vaccinated Virginians have had a breakthrough COVID-19 infection, 0.016 percent have been hospitalized, and 0.0032 percent have died from the virus. And a recent analysis from the Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation Health System Tracker found that 98 percent of U.S. adults hospitalized for COVID-19 in June and July were unvaccinated.

At present, while bed capacity remains manageable, the ability to produce more doctors and nurses after an 18-month long pandemic remains limited.  To wit?  The VHHA Dashboard indicates that the present number of ICU beds available has been reduced to just 571.

Monmouth University released a poll last week showing 67% of registered voters supporting masks in schools as a precautionary measure, with only 12% of registered voters endorsing at total shut down of public schools.

A combined 84% support either in-class instruction or a hybrid method, demonstrating that most Virginians support common sense measures to combating the pandemic rather than more panic-induced motivations.

77% of Virginia voters say they have received at least the first dose of the COVID vaccine, while 71% of Virginians remain either very concerned or concerned that their family might contract COVID-19. Only 12% of Virginia registered voters indicated that they would most likely never get the vaccine.

In other numbers, 42% of Virginians disapprove of Governor Ralph Northam’s performance as governor, while 49% disapprove of President Joe Biden’s performance in the wake of the Afghanistan withdrawal.

One talking point that can be discarded?  There has been concern that among blacks there is less enthusiasm due to longstanding historic concerns about vaccinations and experimental testing in general.  Yet in the Monmouth poll, only 4% of blacks cited they would likely never receive the vaccine compared to 16% of whites.


The full release from VHHA can be read online here.