The Coulee Medical Center remains closed after employees reported a gas leak that left some hospitalized on Tuesday afternoon.
Twelve patients were discharged or transported to different hospitals in Omak, Moses Lake and in Davenport on Tuesday night . Ten staff members with a range of symptoms, from light nausea to chest pains, were all discharged from hospitals that night as well.
Staff members first reported feeling symptoms in the lab around 2 p.m., said Sharon Gilmore, risk manager at Coulee Medical Center. Gas to the building was immediately turned off and its occupants evacuated.
Coulee Medical Center staff have moved into the hospital’s old clinic, or Medical Arts Building, located across its parking lot, Gilmore said. Medical staff will provide urgent care services at the old clinic between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. starting on Wednesday and until further notice, she said.
Staff also will provide virtual visits, she said.
The nature and origin of the gas leak were still unknown Wednesday . It’s not clear when staff will be cleared to move back into the building.
The Department of Ecology was expected to take tests inside the building on Wednesday afternoon, Gilmore said.
Coulee Medical Center is a 25-bed hospital. The building was built in 2010.
Gilmore said the disruption in services does not put a major strain on the community.
“I think this community is very well-trained and experienced in managing emergencies and fires and things like that,” she said.
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.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.