Providence Health Care has issued a statement in support of Spokane County staying at phase two of Washington’s reopening protocol.
Providence said it supports the decision by the Regional Health District and Health Officer Bob Lutz to stay at level two for now.
It cites the data that show the number of Covid cases continues to increase in Spokane County. And it reiterates a point Lutz has made this week, that there’s evidence that the virus is spreading through the community.
This week, Spokane County commissioners sent a letter to Lutz, asking him to begin the process of moving the county to level three. They cited the economic hardships the county is facing. It’s a question the county health board will consider on Thursday.
The Providence statement said its system has the capacity to accept more Covid patients, but worries that moving toward phase three would put too much stress on its health care system. It says the community would be better off for now staying in phase 2 and keeping the capacity to care for people who had to put off medical procedures.
The statement was issued on the same day the county reported 43 new coronavirus cases, the largest increase since 55 cases were reported two weeks ago.
The Providence statement says the company recognizes the economic challenges Covid poses, but says its priority is keep the community healthy. It urged people to do what they could to keep the virus from spreading, including wearing masks and keeping the proper physical distancing.