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West Virginia’s covid-19 hospitalization numbers surge past all-time high

West Virginia has surged past its highest number of covid-19 hospitalizations since the pandemic began.

The state listed 1,043 hospitalizations of people with covid-19 today.

That is more than the 1,012 hospitalizations the state recorded at the height of the delta wave on Sept. 24.

Dr. Clay Marsh

“We are very, very worried that our hospital numbers have not come close to peaking yet,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia’s top pandemic adviser.

State leaders have been warning for weeks that hospitals are becoming overwhelmed by covid cases, other illnesses such as flu, people who have had delayed treatment for chronic illnesses — all complicated by staffing shortages at medical facilities.

“We don’t want our hospitals overrun,” Gov. Jim Justice said during a pandemic briefing today.

Strain on hospitals is a focus of state leaders.

James Hoyer

“We’ve got to look exceptionally closely at our hospital numbers,” said James Hoyer, chief of West Virginia’s interagency task force. “We’ve got some pretty significant challenges in our hospitals coming up over the next couple of weeks.”

Yesterday, Hoyer said, hospitals reported 139 new admissions related to covid-19.

“We’ve been over a hundred for a significant period now,” Hoyer  said, “and we know anything over 65 puts us at a significant challenge.”

The state listed 218 covid-19 patients admitted to intensive care units, and there are 115 covid-19 patients who need ventilators to breathe. Those statistics have been relatively steady.

West Virginia has identified 18,149 active cases of covid-19. The daily percent positivity is 22 percent.

Hoyer said those statistics could actually be lower than reality.

“We’ve got to understand that a lot more people are going out and getting antigen tests and doing at-home testing, so reporting of positive test cases may not be fully where they are statewide,” Hoyer said.

The state has identified 5,674 deaths from covid-19 since the pandemic began.

“A lot of wisdom. A lot, a lot of folks we’ve lost,” Governor Justice said at his regular briefing today.

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