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Jan. 28, 2022

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Washington COVID-19 hospitalizations down, in part due to increase in deaths


LONGVIEW — COVID-19 hospitalizations in Washington have decreased slightly from record high rates, in part because of an increase in patients dying, according to state hospital officials.

“That is a way we do not want to be creating hospital capacity,” Cassie Sauer, Washington State Hospital Association chief executive officer, said during a press briefing Monday. “This is despite giving people the best care that we have for COVID, which is still, honestly, not very good. … For people who think there is a cure and fool-proof treatment for COVID, that does not exist.”

About 1,504 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Monday, down from about 1,669 last week, Sauer said.

The state’s COVID-19 death rate has risen, with 30 virus-related deaths reported in the last 24 hours, Sauer said Monday morning. Washington has recorded 7,271 total COVID-19 deaths.

Cowlitz County recorded seven new COVID-19 deaths over the weekend, with 176 total deaths.

As of Thursday, Clark County recorded 24 deaths from COVID-19 in the past seven days, with 373 total deaths. The 24 deaths was the most fatalities from COVID-19 reported in a seven-day period in Clark County that did not include adjustments to previous totals.

PeaceHealth announced Monday it now is offering monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19. The intravenous therapy was initially available at PeaceHealth Memorial Urgent Care in Vancouver. Patients must have a provider referral to be eligible for the treatment.

Legacy Health is also offering monoclonal antibody treatment at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center and one location in Northwest Portland, according to a Legacy Health spokeswoman, who said that treatment is by referral only from the emergency room or the patient’s physician.

As of Monday, the treatment is available at two other locations in Southwest Washington, Kirkpatrick Family Care in Longview and Providence Centralia Hospital in Lewis County, according to the state Department of Health.

Monoclonal antibodies are immune, lab-produced molecules designed to mimic the body’s natural response to infection.