PRINCETON, WV (WVNS)– Princeton Community Hospital is at capacity forcing them to call on the National Guard for help.  All beds in both the inpatient and intensive care units at Princeton Community Hospital are full due to the spike in COVID-19 cases within the state and across the country.  

“What we’ve seen with omicron variant is a lot of people presenting symptoms, were still seeing people that need to be in the hospital,” said PCH CEO Karen Bowling.

The high number of patients forced PCH to send patients to their partner hospitals with available bed space. That, paired with staff shortages due to COVID exposures and breakthrough cases, made the hospital call on the National Guard to assist with non-medical essential needs.

“They’re going to be able to provide some supportive services and that’s going to be really important to us,” Bowling added. “In our case what we need is the supportive services, things like laundry and housekeeping.”

She tells us the best way the community can help is to get their vaccines and booster as a new study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows vaccines and boosters significantly lower covid related hospitalizations and deaths. 

“It’s very difficult for our staff,” Bowling explained. “Everyones coming in and working as hard as they can to take care of the people in our hospital and emergency rooms and although it’s not an ideal situation it is what it is.”

The emergency room is still available for those needing emergency services. Hospital staff said to help reduce wait times, only come if there is a medical emergency and seek COVID testing at offsite testing locations.