Washington State seeks 1,200 healthcare workers for COVID-19 ‘hospital crisis’


Washington Governor Jay Inlsee has asked the federal government to help him staff hospitals and long-term care facilities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“In Washington State, our hospitals are currently at full capacity or beyond, and we need more help right now,” Inslee wrote in Friday’s letter – released Monday – to Jeffrey Zients. , the White House COVID-19 coordinator.

Inslee wrote that the state Department of Health had requested 1,200 clinical and non-clinical staff, and requested the deployment of Department of Defense medical personnel “to help deal with the hospital crisis. current ”.

Inslee spokesman Mike Faulk said the state has yet to receive a response.

Meanwhile, on Monday, state hospital officials said COVID-19-related hospitalizations were declining across Washington.

The Seattle Times reported this week that hospitals counted 1,504 COVID-19 patients statewide, up from 1,673 last week.

“We have seen an increase in vaccination rates, the governor’s order on masking (and) county actions like vaccine checks that is happening in a number of counties,” said Cassie Sauer, CEO of Washington State Hospital Association, during a press briefing Monday.

She added: “And it looks like the case rates could go down a bit.”

There is a caveat. Sauer said another reason hospitalizations are dropping is that death rates are rising. While data on the state’s deaths is incomplete over the past two weeks, 30 people in Washington have died from the virus in the past 24 hours, Sauer said.

About 260 people remain on ventilators in the state, a “treatment of last resort” for those who are sickest, Sauer said.

In an attempt to prevent the state’s COVID-19 patients from becoming sicker, many hospitals had started ordering monoclonal antibody treatments directly from manufacturers.

However, because manufacturers were suddenly “inundated with orders,” Sauer said the federal government was reverting to its previous distribution system, where a state receives an allocation of monoclonal antibodies and then distributes them among its communities.

There have been more than 560,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – over 68,000 “probable” cases – in Washington state, and 7,271 deaths. State health officials say most of the state’s new infections are caused by the delta variant, a more contagious version of the coronavirus.

Since last week, 75% of people aged 12 and over have started vaccination and 68% are fully vaccinated.

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