60 COVID-19 patients at CAMC and climbing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There were 60 COVID-19 patients being treated in Charleston Area Medical Center hospitals Monday, the largest single day COVID-19 patient census for CAMC since the pandemic began.

CAMC Associate Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Robie

CAMC Associate Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Robie told MetroNews the climb in residents that require hospitalization has been significant over the last six weeks.

“We had nine positive COVID patients in our hospitals (at the end of July). So the fact that we’re now up to 60 patients is pretty worrisome particularly after the Labor Day holiday,” Robie said.

He said unfortunately he expects the hospitalizations to keep climbing.

“If you look at the cases per capita and you look at the (state COVID-19) map you see the majority of the orange (counties) in our market area as far as the hospital reach,” Robie said. “So we’re feeling a lot of that right now.”

The 60 patients at CAMC hospitals represent more than a third of the overall patient number in the state which was posted at 151 Monday by the state Department of Health and Human Resources.

There are COVID-19 patients at CAMC General, CAMC Women and Children’s, CAMC Teays Valley and CAMC Memorial. Most of the patients, according to Robie, are being treated at Memorial located in Kanawha City in Charleston.

Robie said a closer look at the numbers show 70 percent of the patients are coming from home.

“To a lot people we hear nursing home is the issue but I think what we’re realizing is that a lot of these patients are actually coming from home,” Robie said. “These are typically elderly patients with multiple comorbid conditions and they get sick pretty quick.”

Hospital stays for COVID-19 patients are typically lengthy.

Robie said right now CAMC is able to take care of the increase. The hospital announced a return to a ‘no visitation’ policy just over a week ago.

“That was one of the tough decisions we had to make but we feel like it allowed us to better be able to serve the patients within our walls and better be able to care for those patients,” Robie said.

One key thing, according to Robie, to stop the spread is for more people to get tested.

“There’s a lot of thoughts out there on what getting tested means to different sitautions but from a public health perspective, if you have symptoms we need you to get tested so we can figure out where the disease is so we can lock it down and stop this spread of the disease,” Robie said.

Of the 151 people hospitalized statewide, 58 are in intensive care and 24 patients are being treated on ventilators.

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