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Spokane hospitals have capacity to handle medical emergencies during COVID-19 crisis

There are currently 60 beds available in ER departments at Multicare hospitals. Providence has 116 emergency beds available in Spokane and Stevens counties.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Despite the on-going novel coronavirus pandemic, Spokane hospitals want people to know they can still handle emergencies.

The hospitals say their doctors and nurses can handle it.

There are currently 60 beds available in ER departments at Multicare hospitals. Providence has 116 emergency beds available in Spokane and Stevens counties.

But how are they keeping patients and staff safe?

Dr. David O'Brien with Multicare said all staff are screened before coming into work and wear masks during shifts.

Patients with respiratory symptoms are given masks to wear on their way into the ER. He adds that once these patients arrive, they are isolated from other patients.

Rooms are also set up to comply with social distancing, and waiting rooms are being sanitized.

"Remember that a vast majority of community is not immune to virus and it would not take much for this virus to flare," Dr. O'Brien said.

Dr. Dan Getz with Providence Sacred Heart said it has been focused on building capacity and safety for patients and staff.

He adds that emergency rooms at Providence, like Multicare, are taking additional steps to screen staff and sanitize waiting rooms.

"If someone is experiencing an emergency, I don't want them to worry that our facility, or Dr. O'Brien's facilities, don't have space to take care of you," Dr. Getz said. "We want you to seek care. Please, if you are experiencing stroke symptoms, heart attack symptoms or symptoms of an emergency, don't wait."

Both doctors are encouraged by the latest number of COVID-19 cases, and that they appear to be slowing down. But we have not crossed the finish line yet, so they said it is still important to continue practicing social distancing.

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