Crouch confirms outbreak at Mitchell-Bateman Hospital

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch confirmed Wednesday there’s a COVID-19 outbreak at the state-operated Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital in Huntington.

Secretary Bill Crouch

Crouch said 35 staff members and 24 patients have tested positive for the virus at the psychiatric hospital. A Department of Health and Human Resources representative told MetroNews facility-wide testing took place Tuesday and, despite contact tracing, officials cannot identify a source of the spread.

“We have developed a unit that is COVID positive only to make sure those individuals are protected and isolated from other patients in the facility and we have a unit that is set up for individuals who might be exposed so they are isolated as well,” Crouch said Wednesday during Gov. Jim Justice’s coronavirus media briefing.

Gov. Jim Justice

Crouch said staff members are self-quarantining at home. He said the state is working with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department.

Gov. Justice said Wednesday he’s been updated on the situation but he wants to make sure the state is doing as much as possible. He asked Crouch, state Health Officer Dr. Ayne Amjad and state Adjutant General Jim Hoyer to all personally visit the hospital and report back to him.

“In my gut I just feel like we can do more and we’ll be running to fire and we’ll run to the fire today in a bigger way than we have been,” Justice said. “I hope and pray everything has been going right but at the same time if it’s not, we want to do better.”

A nurse who worked at Bateman died earlier this month of COVID-19.

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