National Guard set to arrive at Sacred Heart Medical Center Friday

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Washington National Guard is expected to arrive at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center on Friday. 

Their deployment is part of a statewide effort to help hospitals struggling during the omicron surge. 

Washington hospitals are seeing a dramatic increase in COVID hospitalizations, primarily in unvaccinated people, as well as staffing shortages because of the variant. 

RELATED: Gov. Inslee deploys National Guard to help at Spokane hospital

Ten guardsmen and one liaison will serve in non-clinical roles primarily in Sacred Heart’s emergency department. They are expected to be at the hospital for approximately 30 days. 

Providence Communication Manager Ariana Lake said the healthcare system hopes their presence will underscore the importance of getting vaccinated, boosted and taking all other actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

On Wednesday, Providence returned to its no visitor policy for adult patients because of the transmissibility of the omicron variant. There are policy exceptions for maternity, children and end-of-life patients. 

Providence is also evaluating each surgery and procedure under Governor Jay Inslee’s recent proclamation, which put a pause on non-emergency surgeries. The pause is expected to last one month. 

READ: ‘We are grateful’: Providence relieved National Guard will come to help

READ: Governor’s decree delays Cheney woman’s gallbladder removal surgery