Northeast Tri-County Health requests DOH ‘strike team’ to help hospitals straining with COVID patients

Northeast Tri County Health District
Northeast Tri-County Health District

COLVILLE, Wash. — A ‘strike team’ from the Washington State Department of Health has been requested to support hospitals in Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, which are straining under a surge in COVID hospitalizations.

Northeast Tri-County Health District says their regional hospital network is getting stretched thin—in Ferry and Stevens counties, COVID infections have nearly tripled, and in Pend Oreille County they have doubled.

Currently, Stevens County has 10 COVID patients hospitalized, three of whom are in the ICU.

Ferry and Pend Oreille counties both have one hospitalized COVID patient. These hospitals also have far fewer available beds than in larger cities like Spokane.

“Increased hospitalizations locally and regionally affect everyone in our communities, not just those who contract COVID,” reads a release from the Health District. “When hospitals are at capacity other medical procedures and treatment for emergencies such as heart attacks, same-day surgeries, car-accidents, etc. can be delayed while available resources are located. This can take hours or days and even require transportation to other states, costing valuable time.”

This has prompted the district to request a strike team from the DOH to help support their hospitals starting next week.

The health district says 97.4% of COVID infections were in unvaccinated people, 96% of COVID hospitalizations were for unvaccinated people and 94.3% of COVID deaths were in unvaccinated people.

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