While the number of COVID-19 cases in the state is declining, the numbers are still higher than other points in the pandemic.
EVERETT, Washington – Washington state hospital stays continue to decline.
The summer months of 2021 saw the highest spikes in the coronavirus pandemic, but recent data shows that the numbers fall with the outside temperature, but that doesn’t mean emergency rooms and intensive care units are still out of the woods.
Long lines in the emergency room at the Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett led the hospital to cancel operations this week. The hospital treated the country’s first COVID-19 patient in January 2020.
“It is disappointing that we are still in this position,” said Darren Redick, CEO of the Providence Northwest Service Area.
This week, more than a year and a half after that first COVID-19 patient, such full operations were postponed at Everett Hospital and patients were waiting for beds. According to the hospital, the hospital had about 40 patients in its emergency room on Wednesday and 30 patients on Thursday.
“Since yesterday we opened a satellite intensive care unit with six beds to care for more intensive care patients, as we no longer have bed capacity in our normal intensive care unit,” explained Redick.
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Providence isn’t the only hospital running short of patient beds.
“We have our backs to the wall a lot,” said Mark Taylor, nurse and director of operations at Washington Medical Coordination Center in Harborview.
The Washington Medical Coordination Center works to find space for patients when hospitals don’t have space for them.
During a meeting this week, Taylor stated that the number of calls to the coordination center has decreased by about 50% from the August peak, but hospital admissions are still higher than in previous months.
“Hospitals are still extremely busy. There are many facilities that are facing very challenging and difficult management decisions that must be made to care for the number of patients in their hospital,” said Taylor.
“Even though they’re falling, our fall rate is still very high. As a result, we are still seeing large numbers of hospital and critical care patients who are seeing COVID, ”Redick said.
Redick said KING 5 Providence is still treating all patients who come through the door, but they warn of long waits.
“I don’t think anyone believed that we would get into this situation in the fall. I think we still need to remember where we have been and where we are going and use good judgment as we move forward, ”Redick said risky behaviors that may bring you to the hospital that you really should think twice about .