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Inside the Numbers: Virginia hospitals operating well within capacity in face of COVID-19 surge

Virginia covid-19
(© Ingo Menhard –

The number of daily COVID-19 positives in Virginia has more than doubled over the past month, but hospitals in the Commonwealth seem to be coping quite well.

The Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard reports today that there are 12,496 hospital beds in use in Virginia today.

This total represents 75.8 percent of the state’s pre-surge 16,476-bed capacity.

This as the number of people currently hospitalized with positive COVID-19 tests and those awaiting test results is at a new 2020 high of 1,658 today.

The recent low there dates back to Oct. 4, when there were 877 people in Virginia hospitals with positive COVID-19 tests or awaiting test results.

Of note: on Oct. 4, there were 12,656 total beds in use in Virginia, a tick higher than today’s total.

The recent high for total hospitalizations dates to Nov. 12, with 13,413 beds in use that day.

The 6.8 percent drop in beds used over the past two-plus weeks has come as the number of people with positive COVID-19 tests or awaiting test results has grown 26.2 percent, from 1,313 on Nov. 12 to today’s 1,658.

Overall ICU admissions are also holding steady. The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association dashboard reports ICUs at a 72 percent pre-surge occupancy rate today, a tick above the normal occupancy rate of 67 percent, even as ICU admissions for people with positive COVID-19 tests or awaiting test results has surged from a recent low of 193 on Sept. 28 to 376 today.

The story here, then, seems to be that as COVID-19 positives and hospitalizations are very much on the increase, the state’s hospitals are operating at levels that would be considered normal and standard.

This is good news.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press