MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Hospitals in the Eastern Panhandle are operating at ‘crisis mode’ these days due to a surge of patients coming in with COVID symptoms.
Donnie Grubb is Trauma Coordinator at WVU Medicine’s Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg.
He told the Panhandle News Network they’re seeing a surge at Berkeley and Jefferson Medical Centers. “Our hospitalizations are up drastically. We are functioning at capacity or over capacity most days. Patients are waiting for ICU beds.”
There are breakthrough cases, but Grubb says the most gravely ill of those at BMC are those who came in unvaccinated.
As of Thursday, “86 total COVID patients hospitalized and 63 of those were unvaccinated. We’re seeing the breakthrough infections, which is normal, but they’re not the critically ill folks,” Grubb said.
“15 percent of those in the ICU are vaccinated. Those small breakthrough infections that we see are the people (with) multiple medical problems or the obese patients – really seem to have a lot of complications,” Grubb said.
He said they make every effort to avoid diverting patients to other facilities.
Grubb said to his knowledge, they haven’t lost any patients who were waiting for care during the surge.
He encouraged patients to look at alternatives like their primary physician or an urgent care if they are not seriously ill instead of heading to Emergency.
He also encouraged those with a doctor’s order to head to their drive-through testing site on the campus of Berkeley Medical Center.
For those without doctor’s testing orders, Grubb suggested going to one of many community testing sites listed at the state DHHR’s Website.
Grubb said he’s looking forward to the arrival of members of the state’s National Guard in the Eastern Panhandle as early as next week to help with the uptick in cases.
Grubb was a guest on Thursday’s Panhandle Live, heard weekday mornings beginning at 9:00 on the Panhandle News Network. You can hear Grubb’s full interview on Panhandle Live’s Spotify or on the Panhandle Live Facebook page.