West Virginia's Hospitalization Rates Up 10 Percent Due To COVID
Editor's Note: The article original stated there were more than 6,800 active cases in West Virginia, but this was the total number of reported cases in the state.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said the state’s hospitalization rates are up 10 percent since Friday due to the coronavirus, and more than 1,938 people are currently active with the disease. Despite the increase, Justice said West Virginia continues to have significantly lower rates of the virus than surrounding states.
“The states that surround us…Ohio has 93,000, Kentucky has 31,000. Virginia has 92,000, Maryland has 90,000 and Pennsylvania has 113,509.”
However, rates are spiking in southern West Virginia where Justice said people are continuing to go to visit and bring the virus back from Myrtle Beach. There are also four outbreaks linked to churches in Mason, Grant, Taylor and Logan counties.
Additionally, 31 people at a Princeton nursing home have now tested positive -- 19 of them hospitalized. Two hospitals, Appalachian Regional in Beckley and Logan General, are also experiencing outbreaks internally.
Justice said the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Administration are preparing for a continued spike in cases. The agencies are preparing St. Francis Hospital in Charleston as a COVID surge hospital with additional beds.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.