Seattle nurse: ‘We need to make sacrifices’ amid new lockdown restrictions
Despite concerns from businesses over new COVID restrictions announced by Gov. Jay Inslee over the weekend, local health workers are calling it a necessity to getting the virus under control.
According to Seattle critical care nurse Jamie Williams, hospitals have already been feeling the strain from rising cases in recent weeks. The hope is that with these new restrictions announced by the governor, that trend can be reversed.
“It’s become frighteningly out of control very quickly,” Williams told KIRO Radio. “We need to make some sacrifices in order to get things under control again, and to keep our hospitals and health care system so it’s not overwhelmed.”
One Auburn ER doctor noted last week that South King County hospitals have already been functioning “near 100% capacity on a daily basis.” As we enter into flu season amid a respiratory pandemic, other hospitals have voiced similar concerns.
That’s a sentiment echoed by Williams as well. Paired with the fact that health workers have been on the front lines of this battle for over eight months now, tensions are running high.
“I fear a lot for what the next few months will look like,” she said. “I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that I’ve been feeling a lot of exhaustion and I’ve seen that out of my colleagues as well.”
On Sunday, Gov. Inslee labeled the state’s current status as “the most dangerous public health day in over 100 years in Washington’s history.” The new restrictions will have retail, including grocery stores, capped at 25% indoor capacity, while indoor gatherings and indoor dining service at restaurants and bars will be put on hold at least through Dec. 14.
Washington saw a record 2,309 new cases on Sunday. Dr. Kathy Lofy, with the Washington State Department of Health, said that if the current doubling trend continues, we’ll soon see 4,000 daily cases in Washington. She said that the spread is a statewide issue, and if rates increase, hospitals won’t be able to handle the case load.
“Ending this curve is essential,” Lofy said Sunday. “If we act now, we can be successful.”