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Rapid increase of COVID-19 in Grays Harbor leads to increased demand for testing

Harbor Regional Health says that they are seeing a significant increase in the number of COVID positive tests. 

They tell KXRO that rates in Grays Harbor are currently approaching 20% positivity, a four-fold increase from typical rates. 

Health officials say that statewide, almost 25% of ICU beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients. 

Cassie Sauer, president of the Washington State Hospital Association. said as of Thursday morning there were 1,240 people with coronavirus in state hospitals. The previous highest number was about 1,100 in December. Sauer said until the recent spike in cases and hospitalizations due to the delta variant the COVID-19 hospitalization rate in the state had been holding steady at about 300 to 350 people. 

The numbers began increasing in early July and have been doubling about every two weeks.

This growth has led to increased hospitalizations as well, according to the local public hospital, meaning staff are at times overwhelmed and the hospital has been reaching maximum capacity more frequently. 

This increase has led to some patients being held in the ER until a bed is available either locally or at another facility.

“Finding beds can be difficult as facilities across the state are experiencing similar increases. This scenario reduces overall ER capacity for all other patients.”

Harbor Regional adds that as the virus spreads, so does the number of people seeking tests. 

Harbor Regional Health Community Hospital only performs COVID-19 testing for symptomatic patients presenting to the ER or anyone who is scheduled for surgery. They no longer offer a drive-up testing service, and neither of their outpatient lab testing facilities, Hoquiam or East Campus, do COVID-19 testing. 

These two outpatient lab stations are only open Monday through Thursday for all other testing due to staffing shortages.

The hospital says that they can provide pre-surgical COVID-19 testing with a written request from a surgical provider.

“If you are symptomatic, and do not want to go to the Emergency Department you can get tested by appointment at our Prompt Care Respiratory Clinic at HRH East Campus. Please note that the first appointments available are Tuesday August 24 th . Specimens gathered from this clinic are PCR tests analyzed by our lab at Community Hospital.”

 

Additional testing options are available. Residents should contact Grays Harbor County Public Health, however, although due to an immense increase in testing and shortage in supply, the Curative kiosk located at Grays Harbor County Public Health is unable to do walk-up  appointments for COVID-19 tests at this time. 

 

“If you would like to utilize this service, you will need to pre-register for an appointment at www.curative.com.”

 

If you need assistance locating COVID-19 testing, an at-home test may be an option and GHC Public Health can assist you. Contact them at (360) 964-1850. For other options in our county, you can visit: https://bit.ly/3xXTRbH to see a list of testing providers.

 

If you are ready to get vaccinated against COVID-19, schedule an appointment at healthygh.org/covid19-vaccine-appointment or call (360) 964-1850.


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