Washington hospitals CEO: Texas, Florida COVID response ‘putting us all in jeopardy’

Aug 16, 2021, 12:07 PM | Updated: 12:41 pm
Texas COVID...
Houston Fire Department medics transport a man to a hospital. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

With Washington’s hospitals beginning to feel the strain thanks to a recent increase in COVID-19 cases brought on by the delta variant, local health leaders are expressing concerns over the downstream effects of states like Texas, Florida, and others not properly managing their pandemic responses.

State sounds alarm over latest rise in COVID cases

As Washington Hospital Association CEO Cassie Sauer points out, “the number of COVID patients have gone up dramatically” for facilities across the state. Combined with a regular spike in trauma cases that comes with the summer months, hospitals are in a tough spot, she warns.

“It’s a very challenging period right now,” Sauer told KIRO Radio’s Gee & Ursula Show.

That’s also a situation further exacerbated by states like Texas and Florida, where leaders have imposed limits on mask and vaccine mandates, but are now asking other states for assistance in managing their own issues with overflowing hospitals and limited health resources.

Currently, Florida is experiencing the most hospitalizations per 100,000 residents of any state in the country, while Texas has the eighth most.

“I’m a native Texan and I am furious at Texas right now,” Sauer said. “To prohibit mask mandates and yet be begging other states to send you staff and to take your patients is just incomprehensible — it is so irresponsible.”

COVID cases have quadrupled in King County thanks to delta variant

“We really need a national conversation about these states putting all of us in jeopardy,” she continued. “We want to prevent travel from other foreign countries, but Texas and Florida are much more dangerous for us right now.”

Moving forward, Sauer says the best thing anyone can do to help Washington’s frontline medical workers is simple.

“The most important thing you can do to support your frontline health care workers is to get vaccinated,” she noted. “The sense of frustration and hopelessness that frontline health care workers have when treating an unvaccinated COVID patient right now is tremendous.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Washington hospitals CEO: Texas, Florida COVID response ‘putting us all in jeopardy’