Washington Governor Jay Inslee Calls In State’s National Guard To Help Strained Hospitals; Pauses Non-Urgent Procedures

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is deploying 100 members of the state National Guard to hospitals across the state to set up testing sites and to assist in non-medical tasks amid crowding due to an omicron-fueled spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Inslee announced Thursday that teams will be deployed to assist four overcrowded emergency departments at hospitals in Everett, Yakima, Wenatchee and Spokane, and that testing teams will be based at hospitals in Olympia, Richland, Seattle and Tacoma.

Inslee is also requiring hospitals to temporarily halt non-urgent procedures for four weeks to ease the pressure on capacity for emergency patients.

He also is calling on retired health care workers to return to the workforce temporarily.

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