Local healthcare providers worry about COVID spikes as holidays approach

Inside The Icu
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. — More than 1,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Spokane County.

The latest data show COVID transmission and hospitalizations are going down, but it is still not great news.

Dr. David O’Brien, Chief Executive and Vice President at MultiCare, said he is cautiously optimistic about the decrease, especially as winter and flu season approaches.

As of Tuesday, 108 people in Spokane County were hospitalized for COVID-19. The number is inching downward to double digits, but it is still more than healthcare professionals want to see.

The last time the county had fewer than 100 people hospitalized was at the beginning of August. Meanwhile, Kootenai Health is also seeing upwards of 100 COVID patients a day, with an average of two deaths per day in November.

Providence said the overall number of people hospitalized at Sacred Heart has leveled off in recent weeks, but it is too early to let the guard down. The majority of those requiring treatment are unvaccinated and they expect a spike as the holidays approach.

Hospitals see an increase in patients needing care for respiratory and seasonal sicknesses, like the flu, every winter.

“We are cautious heading into the winter months as COVID-19 once again overlaps with other common illness,” Providence Communications Manager Ariana Lake said in an email.

“It is a challenge as we enter in the winter months and we want to ensure our patients get vaccinated, our community gets vaccinated, so we can reduce the burden of illness in our community,” O’Brien said.

Staff are still burnt out and stressed because of COVID. Both Providence and MultiCare are receiving help from federal agencies in an effort to ease the burden.

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