Washington State Sees 20 Percent Drop in Hospitalizations of Patients with Coronavirus-Like Symptoms

This picture taken on March 16, 2020 during a press presentation of the hospitalisation se
JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Hospitals in Washington State have experienced a 20 percent drop in the hospitalization of patients exhibiting symptoms related to the novel coronavirus, according to the state’s Department of Health (DOH).

Hospitalizations for individuals experiencing symptoms related to the coronavirus have been on the rise in Washington for a month, jumping from 61 patients during the week of February 29 and growing to 251 by March 21. However, as of March 28 the number dipped down to 193.

The Seattle Times reported:

The state Department of Health (DOH) survey, covering the seven-day period that ended Saturday, tallied 193 admissions of patients with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath, down from 251 the previous week. This also marks the end of a monthlong rise in these admissions, which dates back to the last week in February, when only 61 hospitalizations of COVID-19-like illness were counted in Washington state.

While this is, as DOH spokeswoman Amy Reynolds said, “a little bit of good news,” the Seattle Times notes that the survey data does not necessarily provide a full picture, as it does not include reporting from “16% of [the] state’s hospital emergency rooms.”

“Some patients who have the disease — but not all the symptoms — may not have been included in the tally,” the Times added.

Nonetheless, it is still welcomed news, as hospitals in Washington indicated that they have not reached capacity and currently have the capability to care for additional coronavirus patients as they come. While they have seen an increase in those patients over the course of a month, it has happened at a “slower rate” than anticipated, according to Dr. Douglas Wood, chair of UW Medicine’s surgery department. That admission could indicate that the social distancing practices are having a positive effect in flattening the curve, at least to some extent.

“We have seen an increase in volume of COVID-19 patients but fortunately at a slower rate than we anticipated, which is great,” he said, according to the Times. “We have enough surgical masks to do our job. But we have to anticipate tomorrow.”

Washington hospitals, according to a model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, will not reach their resource peak until April 19.


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