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Hospitals keeping close eye on COVID-19 numbers

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 continued to climb Monday in West Virginia.

David Goldberg

The state Department of Health and Human resources listed them at a pandemic-high 463. The agency said 136 people are being treated in ICU and 60 people are on ventilators.

Mon Health System President and CEO David Goldberg said they are watching the numbers closely and the remain well within capacity to treat COVID patients.

“I can tell you today that I have about 12 patients across our four hospitals that are COVID positive,” Goldberg said during an appearances on MetroNews “Talkline.” “Two in ICU and two on ventilators.”

Each of the four hospitals have a review team that monitors the daily information from the DHHR, as well as reviewing schedules to make sure the organization can safely provide elective procedures, according to Goldberg.

“If we get a point where we believe we don’t we have capacity, which by the way do, we will reduce any elective procedures that might need a hospitalization to follow, but we’re not at that point by any means across the Mon Health System.”

Additionally, hospitals are also involved in the planning for vaccine distribution. Goldberg said they anticipate playing a major role in the area to administer the vaccine.

“We are coordinating, we do have freezer capacity that is in place when the vaccine becomes available,” Goldberg said. “The state, I think in their wisdom, is coordinating appropriately to make sure our first level responders get vaccinated first and then work our way out, but we’ll be prepared.”

Following the closure of the Fairmont Regional Medical Center, Mon Health System announced plans to build a 19,000 small format hospital with approximately 20 beds valued at $20 million. Work is also underway to expand out patient services from a location in the Fairmont Technology Park. Goldberg said Monday the project is progressing.

“Not only are we building our hospital, but we’re expanding outpatient services at the technology park,” he said. “We had a ribbon/groundbreaking a few months back and that will be up by late spring, early summer with extended and expanded primary care, rehabilitation, cardiology and other surgical specialties.”

According to Goldberg, hospital stays are much shorter today than in the recent past due to value based care and the pandemic has added aspects that compliment and will likely change the delivery of treatment.

“You don’t have to be in hospital, or stay in hospital for a long period of time to get the care you need,” Goldberg said. “So, I think in the next couple of years you’re going to see more done in the home with tele-medicine and remote monitoring.”

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