Governor Jay Inslee announced on Wednesday that after consultation with local, state and federal leaders, the Department of Defense field hospital currently stationed at the Century Link Field Event Center will be returned to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) so that it can be deployed to another state with more significant needs.
This news comes the day after an analysis by the UW revealed that hospitalizations may have already reached their peak in Washington state on April 2.
“Don’t let this decision give you the impression that we are out of the woods. We have to keep our guard up and continue to stay home unless conducting essential activities to keep everyone healthy,” Inslee said in a statement.
He also said the resources were requested before physical distancing strategies were fully put in place, and the state is now less concerned that our hospitals would be overloaded with coronavirus cases.
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While the hospital is being moved elsewhere, Inslee reassured Washingtonians that the state is still well prepared for a potential surge in positive cases, having purchased 1,000 hospital beds and more than 900 ventilators.
Washington has also finalized a lease to use the former Astria Regional Medical Center in Yakima to bolster surge capacity in Central Washington, which can support an additional 250 non-coronavirus patients, if needed.
“Our community mitigation measures, combined with the amazing work of our hospitals and health care providers throughout the region, as well as our procurement of various hospital supplies, lends us to believe that at this point, our hospitals should have enough capacity to support a surge in patients,” Inslee added.