With WV hospitals ‘on the verge of being overrun,’ Gov. Justice announces ‘Save our Care’ task force

Coronavirus

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – During Monday’s virtual COVID-19 briefing, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said that he and his coronavirus experts believe that the state is “sitting at the peak” of the current surge.

One the state hits the peak, two to six weeks or high hospitalizations can be expected, Ret. Maj. Gen. Jim Hoyer said.

“We’re at a crisis. Our hospitals are on the verge of being overrun,” Justice said, cautioning that hospitals may have to ration care. To avoid that, Justice is launching the “Saving our Care” task force, which will work to look at reimbursing hospitals for revenues they lose by eliminating elective surgeries, as well as staffing help. The funding will be from federal dollars, Justice said.

West Virginia University Vice President Rob Alsop was a guest at the briefing who reported that WVU is seeing smaller numbers of campus COVID cases and quarantining, compared to last year when fewer students were on campus.

Alsop offered current vaccination statistics for WVU:

  • 78% of students
  • 74% of faculty and staff
  • 93% of faculty
  • Rates among Greek students are above 80%
  • 79% of students in residence halls

Earlier this month, WVU’s full faculty overwhelmingly called for a vaccine mandate for the university. That call has not been taken up by the university’s Board of Governors.

“When you’re vaccinated, the numbers come down. It’s just as simple as that,” Justice said.

The briefing was held after Justice met with his Pandemic Leadership Team for a breakfast roundtable summit.

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