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Samaritan, counties see drop in COVID-19

by EMILY THORNTON
Assistant Managing Editor | October 29, 2021 1:03 AM

Samaritan Hospital’s COVID-19 patient numbers were down from previous weeks Thursday, with 17 patients, compared to last week, when there were 20.

Five of the 17 were in the intensive care unit, one of whom was vaccinated. None were on a ventilator. Eight of the 12 beds were in use.

Eleven of the 17 were in the medical-surgical unit, four of whom were vaccinated. Twenty-two of the unit’s 25 beds were in use.

One of the 17 was in the emergency department and was vaccinated.

Four of the 13 mother-baby unit beds were in use, none of which was for COVID-19.

The hospital still has not received any outside support, such as from the Department of Defense, and hasn’t heard whether any will come, according to Gretchen Youngren, Samaritan’s executive director of development & communications.

“We continue to employ creative strategies to sustain safe staffing levels for all patient care units within the hospital,” she wrote in an email.

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sept. 21 he was asking for DoD medical personnel for hospitals and Samaritan filled out a survey with the WSHA in late September to say what resources Samaritan could use if they were made available.

Meanwhile, a 20-person team of medical staff, active-duty Navy personnel from all over the United States like Virginia and Chicago, arrived at Confluence Health in Wenatchee Oct. 22 through a state Department of Health and U.S. Department of Defense contract, reports said. Another 10 civilian nurses and nurse assistants arrived at Confluence on Oct. 23 through ACI Federal, a company that supplies medical professionals across the country and is also contracted with the state Department of Health.

But there was, perhaps, some good news for Grant and Adams counties.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Grant County dropped 10% in the previous seven days as of Wednesday, with 325 cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVD Data Tracker. There also were fewer than 10 deaths in the same time period.

New hospitalizations dropped 59% in the previous seven days as of Tuesday in Grant County, according to the CDC, with nine new admissions.

In Adams County, the number of cases dropped 60% in the previous seven days as of Wednesday, with 21 cases, according to the CDC. There also were fewer than 10 deaths in the same time period.

However, new hospitalizations rose 100% in the last seven days as of Tuesday in Adams County, with four new admissions.