CAMC operates in crises mode like all other hospitals in W.Va.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The omicron variant of Covid 19 has pushed West Virginia hospitals to the brink. For a second day on Thursday, the DHHR reported a record number of Covid patients who were hospitalized.

Officials at the Charleston Area Medical Center said their patient census Thursday was two shy of the all time high for Covid patients. CEO David Ramsey said his staff is scrambling to find solutions on every shift.

“Emergency rooms are overwhelmed and we have about 150 employees who are out being tested or have Covid. How goes the infection rate in the community goes the infection rate with our 8,000 employees,” Ramsey said.

Non-emergency procedures and elective surgeries have been cancelled. Twenty-four National Guard troops are helping out. Ramsey said 114 employees who work at CAMC have left their normal assignments to wok on nursing floors to help take care of the sickest patients.

Some of those nurses were in administrative roles or were part of ambulatory environment, but have been pressed back into service on the front lines of care.

“Folks’ appointments to their doctor’s office may be postponed for another place and time,” Ramsey said.

Due to a lack of staff the hospital has closed down several surgical units. Wait times in the Emergency Room will be way longer than anybody expected unless the patient is in a near death situation. Ramsey added the E-R staff was stretched thin and trying to keep it together. Those E-R wait times could be as long as eight hours in the waiting room, and potentially even longer in the Emergency Room awaiting a bed on the floor to open.

“It’s a crises and it’s hand-to-had combat every day. We’re working everyday, practically every hour, on how do we staff? How do we staff for today? How do we staff for tonight? How do we staff for the weekend because on practically a daily basis, folks are going out sick,” he said.

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