Hospital capacity in Washington State

  • The Washington Medical Control Center (WMCC) is reporting a decrease in calls after their record numbers in December. WMCC is the regional transfer center developed during COVID-19 to ensure statewide situational awareness and to balance patient distribution across the state.
  • Hospitals across the state continue to report heavy adult ED boarding and most large hospital systems still have a census above 100%.
  • SARS-CoV2 is rising nationally and another surge is expected but we are not seeing significant rises in adult or pediatric hospitalizations for COVID-19 at this time.
  • The large pediatric patient surge we experienced in November has improved over the last two months.  There have not been any pediatric transfers that required WMCC since January 13.


Capacity at Seattle Children’s

  • The Emergency Department (ED) is seeing lower volumes than the record numbers of patients seen in November and is back to regular high winter volumes.   We continue to have high mental health boarding in the ED with high acuity with occasional longer waiting times.
  • Seattle Children’s inpatient census has remained above our historical baseline with high patient acuity and technological needs.
  • We are monitoring viral curves closely for RSV/influenza/other viruses.  We have seen a downward trend overall but will know more in the next few weeks.  We have not seen Influenza B yet but it generally follows Influenza A in late winter or early spring.
  • We are going live this week with a new post-procedural short stay unit to increase operative capacity that does not impact inpatient bed spaces.


When sending patients to the ED

  • Our ED is open and ready to care for your patients; please do not hesitate to send patients when the ED is the appropriate setting for care.
  • When sending patients to the ED, please call our ED Communications Center at 206-987-8899 to help us plan for their arrival.
  • Let families know they may experience longer waits for non-critical issues and that we continue to triage to identify and see the most emergent patients first.


We continue to be deeply grateful to our colleagues in the community who are working relentlessly to care for pediatric patients in primary care and preserve capacity in hospitals and urgent cares for those patients who need it most.  Thank you!


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