LOCAL NEWS

Gov. Inslee deploys National Guard, halts non-urgent procedures amid hospital staffing crisis

Jan 13, 2022, 3:02 PM | Updated: Jan 14, 2022, 7:36 am
Gov. Inslee...
Gov. Inslee speaks during a press conference. (TVW)
(TVW)

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday that he will be deploying the National Guard to hospitals across Washington, while halting all non-emergency procedures to free up medical staff.

Washington hospitals full as patients aren’t able to get into nursing homes

This comes in the wake of ongoing warnings from the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA), which said this week that state hospitals are experiencing “a crisis” driven by rising COVID-19 cases and significant staffing shortages.

To help mitigate that, Gov. Inslee is mobilizing 100 Washington National Guardsmen spread across hospital emergency departments “to assist with various non-medical tasks to alleviate the crowded and chaotic situation.” Those personnel will be divided among four hospitals in Everett, Yakima, Wenatchee, and Spokane.

The National Guard will also be deployed to hospitals in Olympia, Richland, Seattle, and Tacoma to assist with COVID-19 testing efforts, with additional FEMA-run test sites to be set up in King and Snohomish counties as well.

Hospital staffing

Gov. Inslee is mandating that hospitals “temporarily halt non-urgent procedures” for the next four weeks to allow health care workers the ability to divert their focus to growing needs in emergency departments.

Concurrently, the governor is investing $30 million of his supplemental budget “to allow nurses, nursing assistants, and medical assistants to achieve their educational and clinical requirements without facing delays caused by limited opportunities for training.”

Retired health care workers are also being asked to return “temporarily.”

“The governor is asking for anyone who can help out – with testing, vaccinating, working in the hospital or other locations – to please help,” his office said in a written release.

Washington medical association urges Inslee to aid hospitals operating at ‘crisis capacity’

Hospitals have been forced to make up for low staffing levels by relaxing return-to-work restrictions for workers with COVID-19. KTTH’s Jason Rantz and KIRO Newsradio reported this week that a handful of MultiCare hospitals have ordered symptomatic, COVID-positive staff to work “if they are experiencing mild symptoms but are improving.” Other hospitals have adopted similar policies as well.

“Staff exposed to COVID-19 or who may have been previously infected may return to work sooner than normal,” WSHA Vice President Taya Briley confirmed during a Thursday briefing.

Local News

Bellevue...
KIRO 7 News Staff

77-year-old Bellevue woman stops home intruder in landslide neighborhood

Thieves hit the neighborhood impacted by the Bellevue landslide but didn’t get away with much, thanks to one brave 77-year-old woman.
23 hours ago
national guard...
Stephanie Klein

National Guard arrives to Harborview Medical Center to help with COVID testing

A Seattle hospital official says the arrival of 10 army soldiers on Friday is a huge help.
2 days ago
End restrictions...
Nick Bowman

UW modelers: State might finally be able to end ‘major restrictions’ once omicron wave passes

Modelers at UW's Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation believe that we could be nearing the end stages of major virus-related restrictions. 
2 days ago
Long term care insurance...
Nicole Jennings

Analyst’s advice for Washingtonians who got private long-term care insurance

An Association of Washington Business analyst explains the outlook for private long-term care insurance now that the WA Cares tax will likely be delayed.
2 days ago
COVID tests...
MyNorthwest Staff

Washington households can order at-home rapid COVID tests at no cost

The state Department of Health is going live with its portal to order free at-home COVID tests that ship directly to households.
2 days ago
Bobcat...
MyNorthwest Staff

Bobcat watches from side of road as WSDOT crews plow SR 20 near Colville

WSDOT crews had an unexpected observer while plowing snowy roads near Colville earlier this week, with a bobcat watching them work.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
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, […]
Gov. Inslee deploys National Guard, halts non-urgent procedures amid hospital staffing crisis