Rural WA hospitals are as stressed by Covid as urban facilities


Many hospitals in eastern Washington are strained by having to treat Covid patients.

It’s not as bad as the situation with hospitals in northern Idaho, which are rationing resources.

But Spokane hospitals have more than 200 Covid patients … straining the city’s four main facilities.

In Colville, Peg Currie, COO of Providence Health Care, said the company’s Mount Carmel Hospital was at least half full of Covid patients.

“Stevens County now has 14, when you think you have 25 or fewer critical access beds. Imagine what emergency rooms look like, waiting lists, to try to access a higher level of acute care, ”she said.

Currie spoke at a Washington State Hospital Association press conference on Tuesday.

Other small Washington hospitals are also trying to keep pace with the demand for care.

In Ellensburg, Julie Petersen, CEO of Kittitas Valley Hospital, said her hospital was already full. Now, she’s waiting to see what comes out of the Ellensburg Rodeo, Fair and Parade on Labor Weekend.

“I don’t believe there has been a lot of masking and, again, our vaccination rate is below 50%. Kindergarten to Grade 12 begins in person this week and Central Washington University is welcoming students again for in-person training on campus this week, ”she said.

Petersen says the hospital will add staff to ensure the community screening clinic can meet any increased demand.

Elsewhere, Kittitas County Jail has seven or eight inmates and staff who tested positive for Covid over the weekend.


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