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Regional News

Covid hospitalizations fall in WA, but there's still one problem

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Courtesy of MultiCare
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Amid the reports about the new omicron variant is good news about the lowering number of Covid-related hospitalizations in Washington, from about a thousand two weeks ago to 800 last week to a little less than 700 this week. The numbers also continue to fall in Spokane County and Kootenai County.

But hospitals are still busy, catching up on medical procedures that were postponed during the peaks of the pandemic. And, at Spokane’s Deaconess and Valley hospitals, a large number of patients who are ready to be discharged can’t be because there’s no place for them to go, whether it be rehab or long-term care.

“It’s been an interesting challenge across the board. At Deaconess it’s almost 65 patients of a 180-patient census. At Valley it’s a little bit less. We’re at about 20% of the population that’s waiting for placement. So that continues to be a challenge," said Greg Repetti, the CEO at the two hospitals. He was speaking Monday during a Washington State Hospital Association briefing.

Repetti guesses the two hospitals won’t get caught up on backlogged elective procedures until well into the first quarter of 2022 and that’s if there’s no new omicron-related Covid surge.