Over 90% of Spokane Region's ICU Beds Occupied As Staffing Shortages, Covid Cases Rise

Aug 4, 2021

Spokane Regional Health District interim health officer Dr. Francisco Velazquez urged people to get a vaccine as hospitalizations and COVID cases surge.
Credit Rebecca White/SPR

The Spokane Regional Health District is reporting that 92.7% of the region’s ICU beds are full.

About 7.8% of those ICU beds are confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to an email from the health district Wednesday.

That comes the same day the district reported more than 270 new cases of COVID-19 and 85 hospitalizations.

Spokane Regional Health District Health Officer Dr. Francisco Velazquez said those numbers also come at the same time that less staff and resources are available to our healthcare system.

“I can tell you our health care partners right now are very busy, they’re very busy not only because we have some increases, particularly last week on some COVID cases, but we have some acuity patients that are being seen, and we have some staffing shortages that are impacting our healthcare providers," he said.

Velazquez said health care providers are not yet limiting elected surgeries. He says they're returning to other emergency precautions they implemented during the pandemic.

He urged those who aren’t vaccinated to get a shot now, saying an immunization is the most effective way to combat the rise in both cases and much more infectious variants.

“My hope is that we as a community do take this increase in cases seriously and are as diligent as we can in protecting each one of us, and protecting the community and in return, that protects our healthcare capacity,” he said.

Velazquez said at least 95% of those currently hospitalized haven’t been vaccinated against the coronavirus.