Growing Concern As Rural Hospitals Close And Coronavirus Sweeps Region


On this West Virginia Morning, rural hospitals are closing throughout the region and the country, and a sweeping pandemic is highlighting just how vulnerable that leaves communities.

The latest episode of Inside Appalachia explores stories about resilience, hope and the economy, and how COVID-19 affects all of this. NPR Newscaster Giles Snyder guests hosts the episode this week. For some insight, he spoke with Ohio Valley ReSource reporter Becca Schimmel. For the past four years she’s been covering Appalachia’s changing economic landscape.

The Ohio Valley has lost 21 hospitals over the past 15 years, many that once served rural communities. As coronavirus cases skyrocket through the region, health officials now worry that the hospital capacity they’ve lost will make it harder to treat the sick. Liam Niemeyer reports.

The Ohio Valley ReSource is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and West Virginia Public Broadcasting.  

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.