Third Patient From Western State Hospital Dies From COVID-19; Three Patients, Eight Staff Members Infected

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A third patient at Western State Hospital, who spent several weeks being treated at a local hospital, died on Christmas Eve from COVID-19, according to the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

Western State Hospital is an inpatient psychiatric hospital in Lakewood, Pierce County. The first patient died from COVID-19 in March and a second patient died earlier last week, says a DSHS news release posted to its website on Monday. Demographic information about the patients who died was not included in the release.

Eight staff members and three other patients have also tested positive for the coronavirus, the news release says. Patients exhibiting symptoms or who have tested positive have been moved into COVID wards.

Staff, who have all been provided with personal protective equipment, have had their movements between wards restricted to slow the spread of the disease, according to the release.

Also last week, the Moderna vaccine arrived at the hospital and so far, more than 600 front-line workers deemed most at risk of exposure have received their first doses, the news release says. Receiving the vaccine by DSHS staff is voluntary.

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