Washington hospitals see record number of COVID-19 patients

August 20, 2021 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — Authorities say there are more people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Washington state than at any time during the pandemic.

Cassie Sauer, president of the Washington State Hospital Association said as of Thursday morning there were 1,240 people with coronavirus in state hospitals. The previous highest number was about 1,100 in December.

Hospitals are also seeing more people due the effects of recent heat waves, smoke from wildfires and injuries due to summer activities.

Sauer said until the recent jump in cases and hospitalizations due to the delta variant the COVID-19 hospitalization rate in the state had been holding steady at about 300 to 350 people. The numbers began increasing in early July and have been doubling about every two weeks.

There has been a slight slowing in the COVID admissions recently, but Sauer said it’s too early to say if that’s a trend.

According to the latest COVID-19 modeling and surveillance situation report from the state Department of Health, the seven-day average of hospital admissions has tripled since July to 96, The Seattle Times reported. Younger Washingtonians — those in their 20s and 30s — are making up more and more hospitalizations, the report said.

The report noted infections are also “at their highest levels to date,” trends that are “likely to continue in the coming month due to the delta variant.”

About 98% of cases in Washington are now estimated to be caused by the delta variant, officials said.

To help free up hospital capacity Sauer said hospitals have been working with the state to move other patients who can be discharged into places such as long-term care facilities.

“We will have plenty of capacity if we can move patients out,” she said.