COVID-19

Virginia Reports Uptick in Hospitalizations

"If you get boosted this week, you will have substantially more protection when you get together with family and friends for Christmas"

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A doctor at Inova Fairfax tells News4 the hospital has filled more beds with COVID-19 patients as hospitalizations increase in Virginia.

As of Wednesday, more than 1,300 people with COVID-19 are hospitalized in Virginia. That's an uptick from about 1,000 hospitalizations just one week before.

"The large percentage of the patients who are admitted to the hospital are the unvaccinated," Inova Health System's Dr. Sam Elgawly said.

Elgawly said the unvaccinated suffer the most severe symptoms and encouraged the public to get vaccinated.

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"The mental effect that COVID has had on people, in terms of anxiety and stress,
just creates an added layer of intensity to the interaction in the hospital," Elgawly said.

With the omicron variant already detected in Northern Virginia, the Fairfax County Health Department said the holiday season is safer for those who are vaccinated and boosted.

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"If you get boosted this week, you will have substantially more protection when you get together with family and friends for Christmas," said Dr. Benjamin Schwartz with the Fairfax County Health Department.

The CDC recommends that residents in areas like Northern Virginia with high community transmission wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Fairfax County officials told News4 they are not considering a mask mandate at this time.

There are more than 1 million COVID-19 cases in Virginia, according to the health department's website.

Virginia is among dozens of states experiencing an uptick in COVID cases, with a nearly 60% increase over the past 14 days, according to data released on Wednesday.

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