Spokane Hospitals Strain Under Wave of Hospitalization, New Cases

Aug 18, 2021

According to the Spokane Regional Health District, the region is returning to COVID-19 case levels not seen in this area since last winter.
Credit Rebecca White/SPR

As COVID-19 numbers and hospitalizing continue to soar, Spokane’s top health official is again urging people to get vaccinated.

According to the Spokane Regional Health District, Spokane County had 165 people in the hospital Tuesday and 347 new cases. Spokane County has not seen daily case counts this high since last winter. 

In a briefing Wednesday, Spokane Regional Health District Interim Health Officer Francisco Velazquez said the region’s hospitals are strained.

“We do have more COVID patients than we’ve had in recent months, we also have higher acuity patients for other reasons – very high volumes – and we have a significant staffing challenge.”

Velazquez said the vast majority of people hospitalized were not vaccinated. 

Velazquez said Spokane hospitals are nearing their capacity levels, but are not yet sending patients to other cities. He said the Delta variant is widespread in the region, and some of the symptoms are different than the original covid virus, such as a runny nose and headache. That means many may have, and be spreading the Delta Variant, without realizing.

Velazquez urged community members to get vaccinated now, noting that demand for the vaccine in Spokane County is currently low. He also urged people to take

other precautions, such as masking and social distancing.