WV Governor responds to concerns over transporting patients from two closing facilities

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WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Following the Governor’s visit to the Friendly City on Tuesday, many questions were brought up.

One of them being, what can be done to lift the burden from the local sheriff’s departments, who now have to transport mental hygiene patients following the closing of the Robert C. Byrd Center and Hillcrest.

Governor Jim Justice and Mayor Glenn Elliott both expressed their concerns on the closures of both mental health facilities.

After the early and unexpected closing of Hillcrest and Robert C Byrd last Wednesday, authorities are continuing to struggle with taking care of those out on the streets.

The Ohio County Sheriff’s Office has been transporting these patients but now, there are too many to take care of on their own.

One Board member decided to ask the Governor what can be done to take off some of this strain.

The Governor responded….

“I do know how I can help from the Governors contingency, or DHHR or where ever it may be, and pull funds to make that you know a neutral situation and not be just another burden that we have to bear.”

Gov. Jim Justice – (R) WV

“Our first responders cant be driving people down to Morgantown and Huntington you know, and sticking with people for those entire trips. That’s a big strain on us so we’re going to have to work with them to make sure that is taken care of.”

Glenn Elliott – Wheeling Mayor

Ohio County Sheriff Howard says his guys have been stepping up, and they are taking care of them, but it’s becoming a manpower issue and something needs to be done.

Stay with 7News as this story progresses.

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