Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now

COVID-19

News >  Health

Unvaccinated people still make up the majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations at Providence

This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient.  (HOGP)
This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient. (HOGP)

Most people hospitalized with COVID-19 at Providence continue to be the unvaccinated.

People who need ICU care for the virus, including 30- to 50-year-olds, are not vaccinated, said Dr. Dan Getz, chief medical officer at Providence in the Inland Northwest.

It’s still too early to determine what impact the omicron variant will have on local hospitals, Getz said, although staffing is always a concern, especially if the new variant is as contagious as preliminary studies predict.

“If a large percentage of the hospital team develop COVID, they are out for 10 days,” he said.

Hospitals in the Inland Northwest are making up for lost time, completing delayed elective procedures and surgeries. Getz said Providence has moved its operating room teams back to their unit full-time, especially since COVID volumes have eased.

The Spokane Regional Health District is expanding COVID testing, including a program where an at-home test kit is available to pick up curbside at many public libraries throughout the counties. The test kit can be done at home then mailed in for results.

Additionally, Health Officer Dr. Francisco Velázquez said the district is still in the midst of a pilot program to sample wastewater for the virus.

The county did not see a spike in COVID cases following Thanksgiving, indicating people were mindful during the holiday, Velázquez said.

Public health and hospital officials continue to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, including those who qualify for booster doses. Velázquez said there is enough vaccine supply locally but that with staffing challenges, there may be some delay for those seeking booster shots.

Here’s a look at local numbers

The Spokane Regional Health District reported 86 new COVID-19 cases and four additional deaths Wednesday.

There have been 1,114 deaths due to COVID-19 in Spokane County.

There are 66 people hospitalized with the virus in Spokane.

The Panhandle Health District reported 105 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death.

There have been 735 deaths due to COVID-19 in the region.

There are 79 Panhandle residents hospitalized with the virus.

Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is primarily funded by the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, with additional support from Report for America and members of the Spokane community. These stories can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.