Washington hospitals issue urgent appeal to public amid spike in COVID-19
Washington state hospitals issued an urgent appeal to the public on Saturday asking residents to do their part and reduce pressure on healthcare facilities overwhelmed by the coronavirus.
In a statement released on Saturday, King County hospitals pointed to the rapid increase in disease in the state, citing data that hospitalizations were on the rise 700 percent from 8 to 70 people admitted daily.
“The large number of patients means acute care in hospitals and ICUs across the state is very comprehensive. Hospitals are doing all they can with critical staffing levels to provide care in the most challenging situation we’ve seen to date,” said Cassie Sauer, president and CEO of Washington State Hospital. Association, in the press release.
In addition to capacity issues, hospitals are experiencing staff shortages, leading to difficulties in getting patients discharged.
“The patients hardest hit by COVID-19 are almost all unvaccinated and unboosted. If you haven’t already, please get vaccinated,” Sauer said.
The group told citizens they should get vaccinated, get a booster if vaccinated, wear an N95 or KN95 mask, and avoid crowded indoor areas, among other things.
The hospital system said healthcare facilities were struggling even before the omicron surge, as non-COVID-19 cases increased due to postponed surgeries.
The increase in COVID-19 cases is now being coupled with the increase in non-coronavirus related visits, urging the public to do what they can to avoid catching a severe case of COVID-19.
The plea comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that coronavirus booster shots offer strong protection against the omicron variant. The United States continued to see record numbers of coronavirus infections largely due to the spread of the highly transmissible variant.
States across the country have asked the federal government for help to relieve pressure on hospitals that are at capacity due to the rapid increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations.