U.S. Army soldiers from Fort Carson, Colorado, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord work to set up a field hospital inside CenturyLink Field Event Center March 31 in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

U.S. Army soldiers from Fort Carson, Colorado, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord work to set up a field hospital inside CenturyLink Field Event Center March 31 in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

No longer needed, Army field hospital in Seattle to close

It was erected to handle overflow if hospitals were overwhelmed. That surge is no longer expected.

Associated Press

SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday a Department of Defense field hospital that had been set up near the football stadium where the Seattle Seahawks play due to the coronavirus outbreak will be returned to the Federal Emergency Management Agency so it can be deployed to another state facing more of a crisis.

Late last month Inslee announced that 300 hundred soldiers from the 627th Army Hospital at Fort Carson, Colorado, had deployed to Seattle to staff the hospital along with soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The facility was expected to create at least 250 hospital beds for non-COVID-19 cases. The facility was located at Century Link Field Event Center just south of downtown Seattle.

Inslee said the decision to send the field hospital elsewhere was made after consulting with local, state and federal leaders. The Seattle area saw the country’s first coronavirus outbreak, and so far there are at least 8,600 confirmed cases and nearly 400 deaths in Washington. But Inslee and others have said they now don’t expect the state’s hospitals to be overwhelmed.

“Don’t let this decision give you the impression that we are out of the woods. We have to keep our guard up and continue to stay home unless conducting essential activities to keep everyone healthy,” Inslee said in a statement. “We requested this resource before our physical distancing strategies were fully implemented and we had considerable concerns that our hospitals would be overloaded.”

The state continues to beef up resources throughout the state’s hospital and medical systems, the governor said.

Washington bought equipment to support hospitals in the event the state experiences a surge in COVID019 cases, including 1,000 hospital beds and more than 900 ventilators. The state last week also finalized a lease to use the former Astria Regional Medical Center in Yakima to bolster capacity in central Washington, which can support an additional 250 non-virus patients if needed.

Most people with the virus experience mild or moderate fever and coughing for two to three weeks. Some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, can face severe illness including pneumonia and death.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

FILE - In this Feb. 2021, file photo released by California Department of Fish and Wildlife, shows a gray wolf (OR-93), seen near Yosemite, Calif., shared by the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife. A top federal wildlife official on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, said there is growing concern over aggressive hunting rules adopted by states in the Great Lakes and northern Rocky Mountains. (California Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP, File)
US: Wolves may need protections after states expand hunting

Former President Trump lifted protections across most of the U.S. in his last days in office.

Biden slammed for challenging Hanford workers’ health law

The 2018 rule made it easier for nuclear reservation employees to qualify for compensation benefits.

Carpenters in Seattle area go on strike

The walkout for higher pay by carpenters in the state is the first in nearly 20 years.

Staffing shortages disrupts ferry service near Anacortes

There were 51 canceled sailings on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route from Sept. 9 to Sept. 13.

Woman breaches security at Gov. Jay Inslee’s residence

The governor and First Lady Trudi Inslee were reportedly not home at the time.

Washington August jobless rate was 5.1%; 16,800 jobs added

August’s rate was the same as July’s rate, and increased even as COVID-19 cases surge.

Feds OK plan to cut salmon fishing when needed for orcas

It’s one of the few times a federal agency has restricted fishing one species to benefit a predator.

Officials urge boaters to steer clear of 3 pregnant Orcas

Vessels are required to stay 300 yards away from the endangered Southern Resident killer whales.

Boeing moving 150 jobs from Washington and California to Texas

The affected jobs are in the company’s global parts distribution unit.

Most Read