LOCAL NEWS

‘This pandemic rages on’: Delta variant has state’s hospitals filled to record levels

Aug 25, 2021, 9:23 AM | Updated: 11:11 am
ambulances, hospitals, crisis standards of care...
The COVID unit at Harborview Medical Center. (File photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
(File photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Washington state health officials continue to express concerns over a recent rise in COVID-19 cases, as hospitals statewide have now filled to record levels.

Delta variant now makes up 98% of state’s COVID cases

“This pandemic rages on,” State Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah said during a Wednesday briefing.

Over the last month, COVID cases and hospitalizations have risen to their highest levels since the start of the pandemic in Washington. And while preliminary data indicates that cases may be starting to flatten, hospitalizations have “not shown any signs of slowing,” cautioned state epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist.

Of those hospitalized for COVID-19 in recent weeks, 95% are unvaccinated. That’s been driven by the prevalence of the delta variant, which now makes up nearly all new COVID cases in Washington.

“This pandemic is not slowing down,” Dr. Shah said. “In just a couple of months, delta variant has ravaged our state, particularly those who are unvaccinated.”

That’s also led to cascading issues at hospitals throughout Washington, with ICU beds filling up while staffing shortages persist. As Harborview Medical Center Emergency Department Director Dr. Steve Mitchell described, health care facilities “are stretched and stressed in ways we’ve never asked them to be stressed before.”

“This means many patients are waiting in emergency departments before getting a bed, especially in regional hospitals,” he clarified.

Washington hospitals strained to their limit by rise in COVID cases

Mitchell described several instances where facilities have been unable to find available ICU beds for patients in need. That includes a woman on the Washington coast who needed to be put on a ventilator for severe COVID illness, but teams couldn’t find an available bed for her anywhere in the state. She was eventually transferred to an Idaho hospital for long-term treatment.

Another woman who arrived at a small critical access facility in Eastern Washington with a “dire prognosis” passed away after staff were unable to find an available bed following an eight-hour search.

The overarching message pushed by health officials Wednesday was a simple one:

“Wear your mask and get vaccinated,” Dr. Shah said. “We need people to follow precautions to right the ship.”

Local News

Troyer, Pierce County...
Nicole Jennings

Trial date for Pierce County Sheriff Troyer set for July 2022

Just as a trial date has been set for Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer, his department is facing challenges in recruiting new officers.
1 day ago
shooting, shootings, gun violence...
Stephanie Klein

Report confirms uptick in shootings across King County, Seattle

King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office released an updated report on gun violence data after a rash of shootings.
1 day ago
Chappelle...
Stephanie Klein

Dave Chappelle coming to Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena

Comedian Dave Chappelle is coming to Climate Pledge Arena for a show on New Year's Eve.
1 day ago
Jay Inslee, reopen, vaccine requirements, long term care tax...
Nick Bowman

Gov. Inslee: ‘May be possible’ to delay long-term care tax while lawmakers work through issues

Gov. Jay Inslee says that he is working with state lawmakers to discuss the possibility of postponing a long-term care tax taking effect in 2022.
1 day ago
(Getty image)...
Stephanie Klein

Seattle police investigating 5 shootings overnight

Seattle police are investigating five shootings in the past 24-hour period. Two people were injured.
1 day ago
Republicans, redistricting...
Nick Bowman

State Supreme Court allows late-arriving redistricting maps to move forward

The state Supreme Court n will allow new legislative and congressional maps submitted late by the state's redistricting commission to move forward. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
‘This pandemic rages on’: Delta variant has state’s hospitals filled to record levels