Washington hospitals are full, working together to shift patients around the state during the recent COVID-19 surge. Now there is a new demand on resources: COVID-19 patients from Idaho seeking care in eastern Washington. Hospital leaders said there is little room to help.
“We are keeping our heads above water — but barely,” said Dr. Chris Baliga, an infectious disease doctor at Virginia Mason in Seattle. “We’re stretched. Do we get transfers from Idaho? Yes, we do. Are we helping? Yes. But is our capacity limited? Yes.”
Hospitals across the state are canceling surgeries and procedures to free up hospital beds for COVID-19 patients. According to the Washington State Hospital Association, 95% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.