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UVA Health COVID Update: The Bottom Line for Jan. 13, 2022

A UVA nurse looks into the lobby

COVID at UVA Health: By the Numbers

What You Need to Know: Pandemic Drives Health Care Professionals to Breaking Point

The highly contagious omicron variant has dramatically increased the number of people turning to the hospital with COVID-19. Meanwhile, healthcare workers across the country are facing severe burnout and exhaustion nearly 2 years into the pandemic.

Emergency Order a Game-Changer

On Monday, Gov. Ralph Northam took action to relieve pressure on Virginia’s healthcare workers and institutions. He issued a 30-day emergency order days after Virginia hospitals reported a record number of admissions for COVID – the majority of whom have not been vaccinated against the virus.

This temporary measure:

Get Vaccinated

Vaccines and boosters are the best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID.

"We have the most patients hospitalized at UVA with COVID ever right now, both in the ICU and in the COVID ward," says infectious diseases expert Bill Petri, MD. "Part of the executive order [makes it] easier for other people to come from other states and practice here during the period of this emergency.”

What We Don't Know: When Will COVID-19 Rates Peak in Virginia?

UVA COVID-19 modeling projects that the Commonwealth’s new confirmed cases per week will peak at just over 346,000 during the week ending Jan. 23. This calculation is based on current local conditions and trends. “One outbreak – or one outbreak avoided – can set us down very different paths,” the model’s developers explain.

COVID Fact of the Week

The omicron variant comprises more than 97% of COVID cases in our region of the country, according to CDC estimates for the week ending January 8.

The Bottom Line

With every new variant that comes along, there are many unknowns. The omicron variant is no different. While its effects seem milder than previous versions of SARS-CoV-2, controlling the surge is the best way to support healthcare providers and institutions. We have the tools we need to fight infection. These include:

Learn more about staying safe from COVID.

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