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20 federal health care workers sent to Sacred Heart to help with influx of COVID-19 patients

Providence said it requested the resources through the Washington State Department of Health.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Providence Health Care announced Friday it has requested federal resources to help address the growing number of hospitalizations from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press release, 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. 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 wrote in a press release. “We will have more information to share next week once this team is actively working in the hospital.”

As of Friday, the Spokane Regional Health District reports 151 people in Spokane County are hospitalized with COVID-19. A total of 3,806 people in Spokane County have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. In Washington state, 38,344 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

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

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. Kootenai Health leaders also made the decision on Aug. 20 to convert the hospital's largest conference room in the Health Resource Center into a patient care area dedicated to COVID-19 patients. It can accommodate up to 22 patients, according to the hospital.