Earlier this week, soldiers from the 627th Army Hospital in Fort Carson, Colorado, were setting up folding panels to create cubicles for a new 250-bed field hospital in a major Seattle, Washington, sports stadium. By Wednesday afternoon, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee had announced that the hospital would be dismantled, and the life-saving health-care resources would be sent to other states that need them more.
In the battle against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, that was the second time in just a few days that Washington’s governor said he had more help than required. On Sunday he announced he’d also be returning more than 400 ventilators to the Strategic National Stockpile so they could be sent elsewhere.
As the rest of the nation grapples with a rising death toll and the surging spread of coronavirus, early actions appear to be working in the state where the virus first surfaced in the United States.
Both of Inslee’s decisions come on the heels of a projection by modelers at the University of Washington that the state may well have hit peak demand for hospital resources, such as intensive care unit beds, on April 2. That was two weeks after the state shut down public schools and restaurants, and 10 days after the governor ordered residents to stay at home.
— Creative Media Times (@cmediatimes) April 12, 2020
“Thanks to the mitigation efforts the governor has put in place and the cooperation of Washingtonians, we have seen fewer infections in our communities than anticipated,” retired Admiral Raquel Bono, who is advising the governor on his response to the coronavirus pandemic, said in a statement. “Our current status allows us to help others who have a more immediate need.”