‘This is becoming a disease of the unvaccinated’: Doctors urge vaccines as COVID hospitalizations surge

SPOKANE, Wash. — For the third day in a row, the number of new COVID cases reported in Spokane County reached the triple digits and the county is approaching hospital levels we haven’t seen in months.

As of today, 85 people across Spokane County are in the hospital battling COVID.

“We’re already seeing a surge,” said Dr. Dan Getz, Chief Medical Officer for Providence Sacred Heart Hospital. “We’re here so I’m absolutely concerned. The thing that concerns me the most is that we have the answer to this. This thing is preventable. You get vaccinated, the odds of you requiring hospitalization or even dying from this is incredibly low.”

RELATED: Coronavirus hospitalizations across region double in one week

He calls the coronavirus right now a disease of the unvaccinated.

“The reason this pandemic is propagating right now is through unvaccinated people,” he said. “So, it’s like knowing you’re going to get in a car accident. You don’t know how severe the car accident is going to be but you purposely don’t put on your seatbelt or you deactivate your airbag.”

In Kootenai County, there’s been a trend of increasing hospitalizations.

“Seeing someone critically ill with COVID is – it’s very impressive how sick they get and how miserable they are,” said Dr. Robert Scoggins, Chief of Staff for Kootenai Health.  “And again pandemic is not about an individual, it’s about a community.”

Dr. Getz is frustrated by the repeat of history.

“I’d ask those people that haven’t chosen to get the vaccine, what’s the point where you’d decide to? Is it when you see a family member die? Is it when you give the virus to someone in your household and they become ill? Pick that point where you really understand you’re going to cross that threshold and do us all a favor, get vaccinated at that point,” he said.

RELATED: WA Department of Health concerned over rise in cases and hospitalizations