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Augusta Health at normal census levels despite local COVID-19 spike

Augusta HealthThe situation at Augusta Health in terms of capacity in the face of the recent surge in COVID-19 positive tests is similar to what we’re seeing statewide: basically, good.

A hospital spokesperson told us today that the current census at Augusta Health has been holding steady between 150 and 165 in-patients per day.

Augusta Health has 255 staffed in-patient beds, so the recent census figures would have it operating at 60-65 percent of its treatment capacity.

“The important message is that we still have capacity,” said Lisa Schwenk, the director of public relations at Augusta Health, in an email Monday afternoon.

We’d reported earlier today that hospitals statewide are operating at 75.8 percent capacity as of today’s update from the Virginia Department of Health.

This in spite of a recent uptick in COVID-19 positive tests that has daily reports more than double what they were a month ago.

The current seven-day average of new positives statewide is 2,400, up from the 1,094-a-day average registered back on Oct. 30.

The Augusta County, Staunton, Waynesboro area has also seen a pretty significant increase in the past month, with 1,200 positives reported in the month of November in the region – 44.2 percent of the total number of 2,715 cases reported here locally since the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March.

That Augusta Health is faring well in terms of capacity – and is in fact operating within normal census levels – in the face of this massive increase in COVID-19 positives has to be considered good news.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press