The COVID-19 outbreak is hitting hard at Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital in Huntington, with 24 patients and 35 staff members testing positive as of Wednesday evening, The Herald-Dispatch reported. One of our members reports that a wing dedicated to COVID-positive patients has filled up, and a second such unit has been established.

DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch made public the situation Wednesday at Governor Jim Justice’s briefing on the pandemic. One UE Local 170 member, a nurse praised by her fellow brothers and sisters, passed away last week from symptoms related to the novel coronavirus.

Members at Bateman, and at Sharpe Hospital in Weston, have called attention to conditions at both hospitals since the beginning of the pandemic. Union members have filed mass grievances, citing understaffing, having to take annual leave while awaiting test results, condition endangering other patients, among many other issues.