20 federal health care workers to help with COVID in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Providence Health Care in Spokane announced Friday it has requested federal resources to help address an increasing number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Providence said it requested the resources through the Washington State Department of Health and they expect a team of health care providers from the Department of Defense to arrive in Spokane this weekend, KREM-TV reported.

A team of 20 people will be on site at Sacred Heart Medical Center, including doctors, respiratory therapists and nurses.

“Providence is extremely grateful for this support and we anticipate that this assistance will help our patients and caregivers very much,” Providence Communication Manager Ariana Lake said in a release.

As of Friday, the Spokane Regional Health District reports 151 people in Spokane County are hospitalized with COVID-19.

As of Friday, the Washington Department of Health reports nearly 27% of the state’s ICUs are occupied by COVID-19 patients.

The Department of Defense has also provided Kootenai Health, North Idaho’s largest hospital, with a 20-person medical team that includes 14 nurses, four physicians and two respiratory therapists.

In nearby Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Dr. Robert Scoggins, Kootenai Health’s chief of staff, told KREM this week that the hospital still isn’t doing elective surgeries and still is operating under crisis standards of care.