Spokane health experts more concerned about hospital staffing than capacity

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SPOKANE, Wash. — Local health officials said Wednesday that they are more concerned about hospital staffing than bed capacity as COVID-19 hospitalization rates continue to rise.

Ten people were admitted to Spokane County hospitals overnight due to complications from COVID-19.

Health officer Dr. Bob Lutz said, as of 7 a.m. Wednesday, there were 58 COVID patients in local hospitals. About 44 of those people are from Spokane County and the rest have been transferred in from other areas. Meantime, 16 patients are currently being treated in the intensive care unit.

Lutz said the local capacity is good, but the real issue stems from staffing available beds. He added that capacity is a fluid metric that changes day-to-day.

“If it’s a big surgery day, capacity is going to be decreased,” Lutz said. “It’s a function of how many staff beds do you have.”

Lutz did not say anything specifically about how staffing issues could be fixed, only that it varies depending on employee schedules.

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