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Samaritan’s COVID-19 number declines; more deaths in county

by EMILY THORNTON
Assistant Managing Editor | October 15, 2021 1:05 AM

Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake remains busy, although the number of COVID-19 patients is decreasing. And the Grant County Health District released information on more COVID-19 deaths.

There were 17 COVID-19 patients in the hospital as of 11 a.m. Thursday, Gretchen Youngren, Samaritan’s executive director of development & communications, wrote in an email. Five of those were vaccinated and two were on a ventilator. By 3:45 p.m., there were 38 patients, including COVID-19 patients and 10 in the emergency department awaiting admission, she wrote. Additionally, the mother/baby unit has had “a high number of deliveries within the last several days,” she wrote, which were not included in the 38 patients aforementioned.

“While our COVID-19 (+) patient census has been trending downward, our staff continues to care for a high volume of patients daily,” Youngren wrote. “It’s safe to say that Samaritan has been extremely busy again this week.”

As far as staffing, Youngren wrote the hospital was using “creative strategies” so its teams could provide ongoing care to people needing it the most.

“While it’s not always easy, we’ve been able to stabilize staffing and fill gaps with addiational Samaritan staff as needed for care,” she wrote.

The hospital also is providing booster shots, or third doses, of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, she wrote, at its drive-through, Samaritan Clinic on Pioneer, at 1550 S. Pioneer Way. Those wanting to make an appointment can call 509-764-3335.

Meanwhile, the GCHD on Wednesday reported nine people died from COVID-19 in Grant County between September and October -- one of whom was vaccinated -- bringing the total deaths in the county to 185 since the start of the pandemic.

Eight of those nine had underlying health conditions. Three deaths were pending review, the GCHD stated on its social media site.

Those nine who died included a Quincy man in his 50s, a Moses Lake man in his 60s, a Moses Lake woman in her 60s, a Moses Lake woman in her 70s, a Soap Lake woman in her 70s, two Moses Lake men in their 70s, a Moses Lake woman in her 70s and a Mattawa man in his 80s.