Inland Northwest healthcare providers are expecting a new surge of cases in the weeks following holiday gatherings on Labor Day weekend.
Spokane Regional Health District Interim Health Officer Dr. Francisco Velazquez said regional hospital capacity is already stretched at about 90%, and the community is contending with the more infectious Delta Variant.
“Traditionally what we have seen after holidays like this there is somewhat an increase in cases,” he said. “I think the issue is that we already have a significant number of cases, and my hope is that while we celebrated Labor Day weekend, we were as cautious, and as careful as we could.”
Velazquez said he’s also concerned about the start of school, and flu season – and the trend of more young children getting sick with COVID-19.
Last year, cases began trending upward in late September and early October before spiking over the winter holidays.
He urged community members that are vaccinated – to approach family and friends that aren’t – to discuss getting the shot before gatherings start taking place indoors.