by Carolyn Bick
Washington State has avoided a post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19 cases, but the state — particularly its hospital system — isn’t in the clear yet.
In a press conference on Dec. 16, Washington State Department of Health (DOH) Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy shared graphs from the DOH’s COVID-19 tracking dashboard that show case counts and hospitalizations, including ICU bed occupancy, are levelling off. The Emerald has shared these graphs below. But the trends aren’t yet level, and the state must go beyond just flattening the curve, DOH Health Sec. Dr. John Wiesman said.
Continue reading State Avoids Post-Holiday Surge, Won’t Share Personal Information With Federal Government in Vaccination Plan
by Andrew Engelson
In an online news conference Sunday morning, Gov. Jay Inslee said he was “joyous” to announce that the federal government and Washington state have both authorized the Pfizer- BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and that shipments of the first 60,000 doses could arrive in the state Monday. Immunizations could start as early as Tuesday for high-risk health care workers, staff and residents of long-term care facilities, and people in tribal communities, the governor said. He also said an independent review board from western states confirmed the transparency, rigor, and scientific independence of the federal approval process for the vaccine.
Continue reading Washington and Other Western States Approve First COVID-19 Vaccine, Say Process Was Rigorous and Equitable – First Doses Arrive Monday
by Carolyn Bick
Aside from starting to cancel non-emergent surgeries and other procedures, there doesn’t appear to be much else healthcare professionals can do to make way for what many see as an inevitable surge in COVID-19 cases and associated hospitalizations, following Thanksgiving and the December holidays.
Continue reading COVID-19 Vaccine May Come Available Soon, But Not Before Hospitals Will Have to Start Implementing Surge Plans