Former Fairmont Hospital designated for COVID patients as cases surge

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – According to Governor Jim Justice, the most serious COVID surge is in North Central West Virginia. So severe, that the former Fairmont Regional Medical will be used an an overflow.

“Harrison, Marion and Marion Counties have the three highest rates of infection,” Justice said,” This requires us to act now, and be prepared in regard to our hospitalization rates”

Active cases in the three counties account for nearly 17 percent of all active cases in the state. Over the last seven days 873 new COVID-19 cases have been reported by local health departments.

“The recent COVID surge is exceeding in-patient capacity at WVU Hospital and the United Hospital Center in Clarksburg,” Justice said,” Many individuals are delaying care because there are no beds available.

The governor announced 65 healthcare workers will begin operations at the former site of the Fairmont Regional Medical Center. A partnership between the state and WVU was announced in March of 2020 that would keep a portion of the original building operational after an earlier announcement from then operator Aletco they planned to close the facility.

“This enable Fairmont Hospital to care for up to 42 patients and provide the necessary services to meet the needs of COVID patients and others so their care won’t be delayed,” Justice said.

WVU Medicine released the following statement:

“Yes, we can confirm what the Governor said relative to the expansion at Fairmont, and we appreciate his support of our need to do so. It’s also very accurate to say that ICU bed capacity, as well as general hospital capacity, remains a significant and on-going challenge at Ruby due to COVID-19. We’ve had to defer many non-emergent surgeries to make beds available for COVID-19 patients.”

“We appreciate WVU Hospital for stepping up and helping us with this important task,” Justice said,” We’re committed to seeing that our healthcare needs are met in this region and the rest of our state.”