Harborview enters ‘calm before the storm’ as coronavirus ramps up in Washington

Mar 17, 2020, 7:35 AM | Updated: 10:26 am

Harborview, coronavirus...

Seattle's Harborview Medical Center. (Harborview, Facebook)

(Harborview, Facebook)

While Washington’s coronavirus outbreak continues to escalate, most major hospitals in the state have yet to fully feel the strain. That being so, many like Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center— the premier trauma center on the West Coast — are battening down the hatches in preparation.

Gov. Inslee lays out plan to close Washington restaurants, bars

“It’s still the beginning,” said Harborview trauma nurse Keenan Clinch. “We’re just preparing for that calm before the storm.”

Already, the hospital has had its Intensive Care Unit nurses go through training on how to care for coronavirus patients. That includes getting fitted for an N95 mask, going over safety procedures related to personal protective equipment, taking stock of supplies, and managing patient assignments.

In Harborview’s ICU, each patient has a nurse assigned to them. For coronavirus treatment, a nurse is also assigned to that nurse, “basically just watching and making sure they’re not making a mistake by exposing themselves to the virus.”

Through all that, the hospital’s medical staff has stepped up to volunteer for this training, picked up extra shifts, and done whatever it can to ensure Harborview is fully prepared to handle the outbreak should it continue to ramp up.

“People have come together,” Clinch described. “People are picking up more shifts. It’s seen as this time for all of us to rise up and do what we want to do in our job, which is care for people. The most selfless thing you could do is care for others and put yourself at risk.”

This comes as Washington state has enacted stringent measures to minimize contact among large crowds of people. That’s something largely viewed as the best way to “flatten the curve” and keep hospital capacity at a manageable level.

But if that edict isn’t followed, things could get far more difficult.

Rantz: Coronavirus quarantines are starting — is Seattle next?

“If these self isolation measures that Seattle and the state have put forth don’t work, we’re going to be filling up pretty much all the ICU beds,” Clinch noted. “Hopefully, this self isolation is going to help us in the long run, but honestly we don’t know — we’re preparing for the worst.”

That being so, he also pointed out that while concerns people have over this crisis are valid, they also need to be tempered.

“I would worry if people weren’t worried,” said Clinch. “We all really need to be vigilant, but you don’t need to go into a panic.”

MyNorthwest Blog

Seahawks Broncos...

Bill Kaczaraba

How ’bout those Seahawks!?!

The Seahawks season that began with plenty of doubt started with a win over our former quarterback and ended with a playoff appearance.

5 months ago

Tulalip Christmas Lights 1...

Bill Kaczaraba

2023 – The light has just begun, Seattle days are getting longer

We send you into the new year with the winter lights from the Tulalip Casino in Marysville. We wish you a very successful 2023.

5 months ago

happy holidays...

MyNorthwest Staff

Happy Holidays from KIRO Newsradio, Seattle Sports, and AM 770 KTTH!

To close out 2022, everyone at KIRO Newsradio, Seattle Sports, and AM 770 KTTH want to wish you happy holidays!

5 months ago

Mariners Playoffs...

Michael Simeona

Relive Cal Raleigh’s magical home run that sent Mariners to playoffs

Relive Cal Raleigh's game-winning home run that sent the Mariners to the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

8 months ago

Building Black Wealth Graphic_900x506...

MyNorthwest Staff

Watch: Celebrate Juneteenth with Draze’s third annual ‘Building Black Wealth’

Seattle rapper Draze is hosting a live virtual marketplace on Juneteenth for the third annual 'Building Black Wealth' this Sunday at 9:00 a.m.

12 months ago

WWII Veterans...

Bill Kaczaraba

Dad is just one hero on this Memorial Day

On this Veterans Day, MyNorthwest editor Bill Kaczaraba remembers his dad who served in the Army during World War II.

1 year ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Harborview enters ‘calm before the storm’ as coronavirus ramps up in Washington