Associated Press Published

West Virginia Hospital Announces Closure Amid Pandemic

Williamson, W.Va., seen across the border from Kentucky.

The only hospital in a southern West Virginia county is closing after the coronavirus crisis disrupted attempts to sell the business, news outlets report.

Williamson Memorial Hospital in Mingo County announced plans on Monday to close in three weeks.In a statement, hospital officials explained that they went into bankruptcy proceedings in February and obtained a loan to fund operations until the business could be sold. The idea was to stay open until a sale closed in early April. But all potential buyers were health care providers who are now focused on preparing their own facilities for waves of coronavirus patients, delaying any sale.

“There is no option to obtain sufficient additional financing given its existing level of debt and the large losses currently being sustained by the hospital,” officials said. “The only option available to the hospital is to shut down its operations.”

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin called it “unconscionable” that any hospital would close while the virus spreads.”I will continue to work with hospital leadership and state and local officials on next steps to ensure that Mingo County will not go without treatment during this terrible pandemic,” the West Virginia Democrat’s statement said.