West Virginia officials: no plans for “field hospital”

Three more counties red on color-coded map
Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 4:32 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WTAP) - The West Virginia National Guard and state health officials deny there are plans for a field hospital for COVID-19 patients.

They responded Friday to a statement mentioned in news media reports that Charleston Area Medical Center has asked for space to treat coronavirus and other medical patients separately.

Those involved in the governor’s briefing say such a facility isn’t needed right now, and is unfeasible.

“We’re talking about 104 medical people it does not come fielded with," said Major General James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard, "and 150 people from the National Guard or other entities who would have the run the logistics for that kind of operation.”

“We weren’t contacted about a field hospital; we don’t know anything about that other than the press release," said Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch. "We couldn’t staff a field hospital if a field hospital were approved”

David Ramsey, CEO of CAMC said: “Our Emergency Medicine physicians were trying to plan ahead for the virus season. The request was for a conditioned tent to be used as a triage facility to test and triage patients before they would be sent into the ER waiting room.”

Governor Jim Justice, meantime, noted the much-discussed color-coded alert map West Virginia adopted in August is similar to systems just implemented by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Centers for Disease Control.

That map now has three additional counties-Putnam, Mingo and Fayette-that are now in the red.

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