From: Dr. Brianna Enriquez, Medical Director of Emergency Management and Dr. Elaine Albert, Medical Director, Inpatient Access

Washington state:

  • This has been a very challenging few months in the pandemic, as the omicron variant led to all-time highs in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

  • The overall numbers of COVID-19 cases across Washington state are starting to come down from their historic highs.  We are also seeing a decrease in hospitalizations for COVID-19 in western Washington.   It should be noted, however, that the central and eastern parts of the state are just starting their wave of hospitalization.
  • Hospital occupancy remains high with significant boarding in emergency departments and difficulty transferring to higher levels of care.

Seattle Children’s:

  • Seattle Children’s is still experiencing the highest numbers of COVID-19 positive patients ever in the pandemic.  We have had in the range of 28 to 35 patients per day hospitalized with COVID-19 over the last week.  This has required expansion of our inpatient areas that care for COVID-19 patients.
  • Overall, inpatient census is high.  We are expecting the number of COVID-19 positive inpatients to begin to decrease and hoping that occurs before flu season truly starts.
  • There is still a significant need for mental health and behavioral health services, which has been challenging.
  • We have seen a decline in ED and Urgent Care visits in the last two weeks which we are following.
  • We need to continue our current limitations on testing to preserve priority for patients who are being admitted, undergoing a procedure, or at higher risk for complications.

Thank you for continuing to encourage patients to get the COVID-19 vaccine and to see your patients in primary care whenever possible to reduce strain on hospital EDs and urgent cares.

If you have questions, please visit our vaccine information page, testing information page, or feel free to contact us at