CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Two dozen members of the West Virginia National Guard are being sent to support hospital staffing efforts as COVID-19 continues to ravage the state.

The National Guard said Thursday on Twitter that 25 members will assist operations at Charleston Area Medical Center next week.

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Additional National Guard members will be trained next Tuesday.

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Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday directed leaders of his pandemic team to review and approve requests from hospitals for additional staffing support from the National Guard. Grafton City Hospital is among other facilities besides CAMC to make such a request.

There were at least 861 COVID-19 patients in West Virginia hospitals on Thursday, the highest figure since early October.

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