Inslee deploys National Guard, halts non-urgent procedures to help hospitals during omicron surge

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee announced the deployment of some Washington State National Guard members and other measures to help hospitals during the omicron surge.

As COVID-19 cases rise statewide, hospitals are seeing a dramatic increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, the Washington State Hospital Association said. Inslee said that the 75% increase in hospitalizations has led hospitals to declare they are in crisis.

The National Guard is deploying 100 non-clinical personnel across the state to work in emergency department and provide COVID-19 testing teams.

The members working in emergency departments are going to:

  • Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett
  • Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital in Yakima
  • Confluence Health/Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee
  • Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital in Spokane

The members helping with testing are going to:

  • Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia
  • Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland
  • UW Medicine/Harborview Medical Center in Seattle
  • MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital in Tacoma

Inslee announced other measures to help with the current crisis.

Hospitals are required to halt non-urgent procedures for four weeks to allow staff to work on emergency patients.

Inslee is also implementing steps to help more patients get discharged to long-term care facilities to free up hospital space. He said he is expanding staffing to assist with discharges and assessments to expedite transitions to the facilities.

The governor is also calling on retired health care workers to return to work temporarily to help with the staffing crisis.

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