RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Old Dominion EMS Alliance (ODEMSA) said at least eight of the 26 hospitals in the central Virginia region have reported they are diverting patients to other hospitals. This is what the organization calls a “Stage 3-Black” diversion status.
The area ODEMSA covers includes 25 hospitals and 100 EMS agencies across central Virginia. Localities include Richmond, Emporia, Amelia County, Charles City, Hanover County, the Tri-Cities, Farmville and more.
ODEMSA said this status is to help disperse patients evenly throughout the region to help medical facilities manage their patient loads. They added hospitals are not closed to anyone.
VCU Health said COVID-19 patients are the reason for the high volume of patients.
“Last week, we saw an increase in patients with COVID-like symptoms across Central Virginia, as well as high patient volumes seeking emergency care,” VCU Health said in a statement. “This resulted in several hospitals making the decision to reroute ambulances and restrict inpatient transfers for a short period.”
As of Thursday, 1,289 COVID-19 patients were currently hospitalized across Virginia. 342 were in the ICU.