‘Being on the fence is too dangerous’; The race to beat a fourth wave of COVID

SPOKANE, Wash. — We’re in a race to beat a fourth wave of COVID-19, but not enough vaccinations are happening right now—not in the county or even statewide.

COVID-19 cases are dangerously climbing in Washington and Spokane County.

“This is the beginning of a fourth wave,” said Governor Inslee.

In a press conference this afternoon, Inslee called the rise in variant cases and hospitalizations “disturbing.”

“We are starting, unfortunately, at a high level than the other waves have started from,” said Inslee, “that’s bad.”

Overall vaccine distribution is steady and promising in Washington.

Inslee even said by the end of today, 5 million vaccines will have been given out across the state.

60,000 vaccinations are happening every day. The governor says we’re capable of many more with the federal government helping.

But while the vaccines are coming, not enough people are taking them.

In Washington, only 41% of people have gotten fully vaccinated; in Spokane County, only 33%.

“Being on the fence is too dangerous of a position right now,” said Inslee. “We still have 300,000 people over the age of 60 who have not received the vaccine, and these folks are at risk right now.”

Providence here in Spokane has seen firsthand the impact COVID-19 is having on our community.

“Our numbers are up, not only in the hospital, but in our community,” said Providence chief executive Peggy Currie. “We really need to get our community vaccinated.”

Currie says the 65 and older population is doing well at getting vaccinated, but those who are younger need to get their shot.

Right now, Providence is seeing an increase in hospitalizations for people who are in their 20s and 50s.

While the patient numbers are currently manageable, keep in mind that we’re asking nurses and doctors, respiratory therapists, really the whole healthcare team to put on PPE and go into these rooms after finishing up a fairly recent wave months ago,” said Providence chief medical officer Dan Getz.

We’d all like to be done with the virus, but the virus isn’t finished with us.

Healthcare providers are encouraging you get vaccinated for the sake of the community we all care about.

“Let’s keep showing that caring by being a hero, getting vaccinated, and getting our community back to normal,” said Currie.