Citing a declining number of COVID-19 patients in West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday that the National Guard will end its staffing assistance to hospitals on March 11.
The National Guard’s staffing support began in January as hospitals were overwhelmed with virus patients.
There were 481 people hospitalized for the virus Wednesday, the lowest since late August and down from the record of 1,097 on Feb. 2, according to the Department of Health and Human Resources’ COVID-19 dashboard.
The number of active COVID-19 cases statewide, about 2,140, is the lowest since July 29.
“We’re really, really getting out of this,” Justice said, though he cautioned that residents shouldn’t stop taking preventive measures against the virus.
While daily confirmed virus cases and hospitalizations continue to fall, deaths haven’t.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the seven-day average of 7.5 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents in West Virginia is double the national rate of 3.64.
There have been 6,381 virus deaths in West Virginia since the start of the pandemic.