PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – The surge of COVID-19 cases in Southern West Virginia is challenging pre-pandemic hospital plans in our areas. One Mercer County hospital is at capacity and and anticipating even more sick patients.
Princeton Community Hospital Vice President of Operations Albert Boland says the COVID crisis is all too real at his hospital.
“Today’s peak is probably the highest number of COVID patients we’ve seen in the last couple months. It’s not as high as it was back in January, but there’s a difference. the number of those that we were seeing COVID positive weren’t as sick as they are now,” says Boland.
Emergency room officials tell WOAY that Princeton Community Hospital has 131 beds and all are full. Its emergency room has 31 beds, and additional beds can be set up in nearby hallways.
Boland says it’s become increasingly difficult for Princeton Community to be able to take care of patients with routine chronic conditions it would normally see.
“It doesn’t make it any easier. We knew that we needed to have surge plans and plans for additional logistical issues. But it doesn’t make up for some of the other short falls we’re starting to see, even in routine supplies, such as normal saline, syringes, or even linen.
While Boland has planned for pandemics for years, the delta and omicron viruses, plus staffing shortages are challenging those plans. Here in West Virginia, hospital officials are seeing positive COVID patients ranging from infants to the elderly, who are an unhealthier patient population due to chronic health problems.