Largely unvaccinated patients infected with Omicron continue to swamp WA hospitals

Omicron has not yet loosened its grip on hospitals in Washington, with Pierce and King counties taking the brunt of the case surge so far. That’s according to hospital officials speaking at Thursday’s Washington State Hospital Association briefing to offer an update of operations in their systems. Hospitals are operating in a guaranteed-acceptance rotation protocol managed by the Western Medical Coordination Center, which was activated Wednesday to protect patients needing the highest level of acute care immediately.

Statewide, WSHA CEO Cassie Sauer said, there were 2,333 confirmed COVID hospitalizations, 145 now on ventilators, compared with 135 the previous day. Washington hospitals are seeing 30-35 COVID deaths on average a day, compared with 10 to 15 just a few weeks ago. “These are almost all unvaccinated and unboosted,” she noted. “There’s a lot about this pandemic that we could repair, but these deaths cannot be undone.”

From the end of December and early January, “20 of the 22 deaths were not vaccinated and none of those deaths were up to date with their vaccinations,” said Dr. Michael Myint, physician executive for population health with MultiCare Health System.

“Overall we’re seeing patients who are up to date with vaccinations only represent 1 percent of our hospitalizations. So being up to date actually is very preventative.”

Officials representing Western Washington facilities were hopeful of a downturn sooner than later in patient influx. Eastern Washington sites were projected to turn a corner in about two-to-four weeks, following Western Washington trends.


Friday, January 21, 2022 - 11:19am