Washington Nursing Home Struggling to Contain COVID Outbreak That Has Infected 74 People

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A nursing home in Washington state is struggling to battle back a coronavirus outbreak that has so far claimed the lives of five people.

Since the first case was reported one month ago, 22 staff members at the Pinewood Terrace Nursing Center in Colville and 52 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Northeast Tri-County Health District.

Out of the 74 people infected, 33 were fully vaccinated and of the five residents who died, one was fully vaccinated.

“This speaks to the seriousness and danger the Delta variant poses for all individuals, but especially those most vulnerable, even if vaccinated,” the county said in a statement. “It also shows the ability of the vaccine to protect against severe illness in those who have been vaccinated.”

The delta variant started its quick spread across Washington in the summer months, driving a surge in infections that continue to overwhelm hospitals and their staffs.

Gov. Jay Inslee in a letter on Monday requested assistance from the federal government to help manage the strain as well as military personnel to help staff hospitals.

“Once the delta variant hit Washington state, COVID-19 hospitalizations skyrocketed,” Inslee said. “From mid-July to late August, we saw hospitalizations double about every two weeks. The hospitals have surged to increase staffed beds and stretch staff and have canceled most non-urgent procedures but are still over capacity across the state.”

In Tri-County Health, which covers Ferry, Pend Oreille, and Stevens County, there are currently 5,965 positive COVID-19 cases.

Pinewood Terrace Nursing Center is located in Stevens County, which has the highest number of positive cases out of the three. Since Sept. 1, 35 residents there have succumbed to the illness.

“We are seeing firsthand that your age, gender, health status and demographics do not shield you from the severity of this virus,” county officials said in a statement.

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