Sunday, September 25, 2022

COVID Infection, Washington State Hospitalization Rates Beginning To Plateau, But Numbers Are Still Too High, Officials Say

Hospital executives said Monday that Washington state’s COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates have been steadily declining for several weeks, but the encouraging trend is beginning to level off.

According to Ty Brailey, executive vice president of the Washington State Hospital Association, hospitals had an average of 1,007 COVID patients statewide on Monday, up from 1,013 weeks ago. less than 1%. The calculation of hospitalizations is based on a seven-day moving average.

Since the wave of infectious delta variant peaked in early September, hospital admissions have declined by about 15% per week, according to the State Department of Health.

“We don’t like being on a plateau,” Brailey said. at the briefing… “We don’t know if things will go up or down from here.”

Brileigh added that the state is on a “much higher” level than last winter, when hospitals averaged about 300 COVID hospitalizations on a given day.

Intensive care units are about 87% full statewide, and hospitals have reported 12 to 15 COVID deaths per day in the past week. As of the end of October, COVID patients accounted for about 15% of total hospital occupancy.

Dr. Kartikeyan Mutuswami of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health said on Monday that about 10% of beds are used by COVID patients.

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“Ten percent is not much, but it has a little impact on our work,” said Mutuswami, an emergency room physician at St. Elizabeth VMFH Hospital in Lakewood. “We have to make sure these rooms are isolated. The time required to care for these patients is longer. Some of these rooms are doubles and we can no longer use them as doubles. ”

He continued, “Because of this, we are at our limit.”

At VMFH, Muthuswami said about 60 emergency department patients throughout the system are sitting on beds in the corridor or other temporary areas because they don’t have enough space. According to him, about 10% are patients of the “intensive care level”.

Despite the slowdown in the pace of decline, hospital executives said Monday that they are eagerly awaiting news this week about childhood vaccinations, which are expected to be rolled out within days, pending a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last week, the FDA approved the emergency use of Pfizer vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11. However, approval of the Moderna vaccine for teens and children could be delayed by several months as US regulators study the rare risk of heart inflammation.

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CDC advisers will meet on Tuesday to discuss dosage recommendations for Pfizer’s vaccine for children. The final decision is expected later.

Dr. John Hawes, a pediatrician at the West Seattle Clinic in Sweden, said on Monday that parents should be concerned about whether their child can be vaccinated only if their child has a history of severe allergic reactions to the vaccine.

“It’s pretty rare,” he said. “Almost everyone in this age group can be vaccinated.”

Howes and other pediatricians attending Monday’s meeting urged parents to vaccinate their children as soon as possible, especially as the flu season approaches.

“These vaccines will make our schools safer, keep the children healthy in our community, and allow children … not to worry about quarantine,” Howes said.

However, hospital leaders recommend holding small celebratory gatherings.

“It’s so hard for me to tell people for two years in a row, ‘Don’t go visit your family,’” Muthuswami said. “Please, be careful. Take the right precautions. Keep meetings as small as possible. “

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article skewed the percentage of COVID-19 patients at the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Clinic.

Nation World News Desk
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