THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. — Thurston County saw a record number of COVID-19 patients die within 24 hours at St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, according to the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (TCPH).
It is also the largest single-day death toll Providence Health has seen since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the final cause of death has not been officially reported, all those that died were hospitalized with COVID-19 and reported to be unvaccinated, TCPH said.
“My heart goes out to the family members and loved ones who have lost someone to COVID-19,” said Director of TCPH Schelli Slaughter. “This is a tragedy to our community. We support and appreciate all the frontline healthcare workers who have provided unrelenting dedication to caring for their patients and we know they are grieving and exhausted.”
As of Thursday, Providence reports there are 91 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Olympia and Centralia hospitals. Of those, 18 are fully vaccinated and 73 are not. Twenty-three patients are in critical care due to COVID-19, with 18 on ventilators. Of those 23 patients, only one is fully vaccinated.
Thurston County is seeing high levels of COVID-19 transmission, with a 14-day average case rate of 462.5 cases per 100,000 people. Current case levels, hospitalizations and deaths are outpacing Thurston County's previous peak last winter.
"Our region's hospitals are reaching their capacity limits for acute care beds and ICU beds due to a sustained increase in COVID-19 cases," said Health Officer Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek. "It is imperative that, as a county, we get vaccinated, mask up, and take other preventative measures against COVID-19. This ensures our health care providers are able to take care of our sickest patients."
Thurston County is currently assessing morgue capacity in local hospitals to make sure there is adequate storage in the event of a surge in deaths, according to TCPH.