NORFOLK, Va. — Sentara Healthcare is starting a COVID-19 dashboard where people can track how many confirmed cases are being treated in each Sentara hospital.
The Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Health and Hospital Association have been sharing COVID-19 hospitalization numbers for the state, but this dashboard is just for Sentara Healthcare facilities. It was set up in late September to give people a glimpse of what's happening in their local hospitals.
VHHA Vice President of Communications Julian Walker believes it’s an invaluable public resource.
“It provides information and peace of mind to people to just have a sense of the scope of the pandemic and particularly its impact on hospitals," Walker said.
Spokesperson Kelly Kennedy asked people to think about what medical center would best suit their needs before going for help. The emergency room isn't the right place to get a COVID-19 test if you're not having severe symptoms of the virus.
The emergency room is the right place to go if you're very sick. The CDC says these are the signs to look for as an indicator that you should go to a hospital:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds (depending on skin tone)
Kennedy said hospitalization numbers for COVID-19 patients in Sentara's network have been high.
"The large majority of those hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated," Kennedy wrote. "The increase in hospital capacities – which are compounded by COVID-19 but not due solely to COVID-19 – and nation-wide staffing challenges are leading to longer wait times for all patients, especially in Emergency Departments, and increased workloads for healthcare heroes who have endured the brunt and burden of this pandemic over the last 18 months."
You can visit the dashboards here.