Covid

TVW

Visiting a Spokane hospital today, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said he was committed to enforcing a mandate that requires state workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The mandate has generated a flood of exemption requests, has drawn protest and is being challenged in court. It’s also led to concerns that some state employees and healthcare workers will walk instead of getting a shot. Inslee said he believes when most people get down to the wire, they will choose the vaccine.

Courtesy Of Danica Garcia

 

Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday announced that people attending outdoor events with 500 or more attendees will have to wear a mask, whether vaccinated or not. The new, expanded mask mandate goes into effect on Monday.

Inslee’s order comes on the heels of similar requirements that took effect this week in King and Pierce Counties.

Rebecca White

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.

Jeremy Burnham/SPR

Organizers for Spokane’s iconic 3 on 3 tournament, Hoopfest, have canceled the annual event after a spike in new COVID cases and hospitalizations.

According to a release on the event’s website, organizers said they were concerned by the record-breaking hospitalizations over the last few days and the spread of the significantly more contagious Delta variant. This will be the second year the event has been canceled due to the coronavirus.

Courtesy of the Northeast Tri-County Health District

Hospitalizations and new COVID-19 cases in eastern Washington and north Idaho are soaring – and healthcare providers fear that if this trend continues, there will soon be a shortage of both beds and staff to treat dangerously ill patients from both rural and urban communities.

Northeast Tri County Health Officer Sam Artzis said the counties he serves, Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille, have not only approached the high tide mark from last December for hospitalization and new cases.

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.

Massive Spike In COVID-19 Expected In Idaho This Fall

Aug 17, 2021
Courtesy of State of Idaho

Idaho health officials are bracing for increased Covid cases by fall.

They say the numbers will be as bad, or worse as previous surges.

Quazoo.com

Fairchild Air Force Base is preparing for a Department of Defense mandate requiring service members to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Vaccine shot
Flickr / US Army Corps of Engineers

As Washington state’s vaccination rate approaches 70%, many more rural counties are lagging behind. Health officials are hoping trusted relationships with physicians will close that gap.

Inslee: Washington Economy Can Re-Open June 30

May 13, 2021
Courtesy of Governor's Office

Governor Jay Inslee announced Thursday that the economy can fully re-open on June 30, or whenever 70% of the state’s eligible population has had at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.

Washington State Governor's Office

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced Monday that Whitman, Cowlitz, and Pierce counties have failed to meet the state’s re-opening metrics and will face more restrictions.

Those counties will go from Phase 3 of the governor’s re-opening plan to Phase 2, which means businesses must operate at reduced capacity and both indoor, and outdoor gatherings must be smaller.

Rebecca White/SPR

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced Friday that counties now must fail in two metrics to be moved back a phase in their reopening. The governor says the state won't act unless counties have both a high hospitalization and case rate.

Previously, a county could be forced to regress to more restrictions if they had more than 200 cases per 100,000 people. Now they also must have more than five hospitalizations per 100,000 cases for the state to regress a county to a more restrictive phase.

Rebecca White/SPR

Health officials are concerned about rising COVID-19 cases, especially in younger people, that could put the county of compliance with the governor’s re-opening metrics.

To stay in Phase 3 of the governor’s re-opening plan, Spokane County must have less than 200 cases per 100,000 people. As of Wednesday, the county had 183 cases per 100,000. Spokane County Interim Health Officer Dr. Francisco Velázquez said that was concerning.