Hoyer: Covid hospitalizations up but percentage of ICU patients not as high

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State InterAgency Task Force Director Jim Hoyer says it’s not surprising that hospitalizations related to COVID 19 are going up after Christmas gatherings.

James Hoyer

The state listed 312 covid-related hospitalizations Thursday. Hoyer said only 24% of state residents over the age of 50 have gotten an Omicron booster. The percentage is a little better, 31%, for those 60 and older.

Hoyer said hospitalizations are up but the number of ICU patients is not growing significantly.

“The percentage of ICU and ventilator patients compared to the patients we saw in the other surges is not as high,” Hoyer said Thursday during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline.”

Fifty-one patients were in ICU Thursday and 14 on ventilators.

He said it’s important for 50 and older to get their flu shot, covid shot if they haven’t gotten any and the booster shot if they have.

This week is the first time covid hospitalizations have been more than 300 since the second week of September. Hoyer said the state has enough hospital beds but staffing remains an issue.

“It’s not the availability of the physical hospital bed. It’s the availability of the bed that can be staffed because of staffing challenges,” Hoyer said.

He said being fully vaccinated helps keep hospitals from filling up.

“Helping to keep those numbers of hospitalizations down just doesn’t help you but helps the rest of your fellow citizens,” Hoyer said.

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