Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Washington continue to decline at a gradual pace.
There is more capacity in the system than there was back in September at the height of the delta surge, although more than 1,000 residents remain hospitalized.
Staffing remains a challenge for most facilities across the state and the country, according to hospital leaders. Even before the vaccine mandate took effect on Monday, many hospitals lost workers due to burnout from the pandemic.
“Everybody is looking for staff,” Cassie Sauer, CEO of the Washington Hospital Association, told reporters Monday.
The Department of Health partnered with a federal contractor to send workers to some health care facilities, but federal funding from FEMA requires that those staff be doing COVID-specific work which can limit how much support hospitals, especially smaller facilities, can get.
It has led to hospitals competing for some of the same traveling health care personnel.
Staffing shortages also have led to hospitals curtailing or capping some services.