SEATTLE — Hospitals around Washington state are reporting a flattening in the number of COVID-19 patients being treated at their facilities. The data was released during a presentation Monday by the Northwest Healthcare Response Network and the Chief Medical Officer at the UW Medicine to members of the Seattle City Council “Although we are still at a plateau, we haven’t seen a decrease in the number of COVID-19 patients,” Dr. Timothy Dellit, UW’s CMO, told KOMO News after the presentation. “The hospitals are able to manage the current level of surge, and hopefully it won’t get worse. We don’t think that it will as long as we stick with the current measures in the state.” Projections done on April 10 by the the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington had estimated 1,500 beds would be needed by COVID-19 patients when the surge peaked on April 5. The statewide hospital bed capacity is about 5,000 beds. He said 275 of the state’s 341 intensive care unit beds were needed on that day. Within the four UW Medicine hospitals that Dellit overseas, he say 30 percent of the ICU beds are taken up by COVID-19 patients. “It’s been pretty flat,” Dellit said. “For us internally, it’s been relatively consistent. The good thing is that it hasn’t increased.” Before the crisis, many hospitals were running at capacity. Dellit says one of the biggest factors that has increased hospital capacity for coronavirus patients was the statewide cancelling of non-essential surgeries and treatments that required a hospital stay. “Be decreasing those elective surgeries, we’ve cut our volumes by 50 percent,” Dellit said. Hospitals that make up the Northwest Healthcare Response Network have been working with Microsoft and hope to roll out a new reporting system this week so decision makers can see what’s happening to hospital capacity in real time. While flat, plateau and leveling are words being used right now to describe COVID-19 cases in Washington, Dellit and others are not using the word “decrease” just yet. “There’s good cautious optimism right now but we can’t let our guard down,” he said.

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