CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The rising COVID-19 case numbers are alarming hospital staffs across the state.

The West Virginia Hospital Association says as of Thursday afternoon there were 178 Intensive Care Unit patients in the state with COVID-19 and 81 people on ventilators with COVID. While hospitals always plan ahead for disasters and emergencies, COVID-19 has presented many new challenges.

It is a situation that is raising concern as the numbers climb faster than they have in the past. Right now, the number of people in West Virginia hospitals for COVID-19 is skyrocketing.

“We are in a position right now where our hospitals are looking at what they need to do to have capacity not only today but in the future should we continue to see an increase in the number of COVID patients recieving hospitalization,” said Tony Gregory, Vice President, Legislative Affairs for the West Virginia Hospital Association.

He said the impact will reach beyond people with COVID-19.

“We still have capacity in West Virginia but we continue to see increases in hospitalizations and that puts at risk not only COVID patients who are hospitalized but also non-COVID patients who need access to their healthcare, whether that is an emergency or a procedure they are having,” Gregory said.

State leaders are urging people take notice of the numbers and get vaccinated.