Spokane hospitals prepare for possible influx of COVID patients during holiday season

SPOKANE, Wash. — More people are catching COVID-19 in Spokane. Employees at Providence and Sacred Heart say the number of COVID patients at their hospitals is at an all time high.

“Spokane has seen record breaking numbers of cases and we know our community must take this virus seriously,” said Susan Stacey, Chief Operating Officer with Providence Sacred Heart.

It’s taken a toll on healthcare workers across the state, including in Spokane.

Stacey says there are 90 patients at both of their hospitals. Despite the increase, they still have beds available.

“I am assuring you at this time we do have the capacity to care for our community, but it’s important to remember that in addition to taking care of COVID patients, we also have patients with other health care issues,” said Stacey.

MultiCare’s hospitals are seeing a similar trend.

“We still have the capacity to take care of our community and our patients that require care for medical problems other than COVID,” said David O’Brien, Senior Vice President with MultiCare.

Across MultiCare, Valley, and Deaconess Hospitals, there are 33 patients currently hospitalized for COVID-19. That’s still less than 20% of their total hospital capacity.

Regardless, O’Brien says if we aren’t careful during these next few weeks, that could likely change.

“We’re seeing future trends that are quite worrisome,” said O’Brien.

Hospitals are hoping for the best while preparing for the worst. They say avoiding that outcome, starts with you.

“I personally have canceled my trips for Thanksgiving. I’m going to do a Zoom dinner with my children,” O’Brien said.

It’s not ideal for anyone. Yet healthcare workers say it’s that choice that can make all the difference.

“It’s one year. Please. Just this one year. Let’s pull back and do the safe thing for us all,” said Stacey.

RELATED: Local hospitals address staffing, capacity concerns ahead of Thanksgiving