PRH officials say there will be surge in COVID-19 cases

To combat surge, wear masks, social distance, use hand sanitizer

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SCREENSHOT FROM MEETING

PRH CEO Scott Adams said COVID-19 test results are only good for the day the test was taken.

ABBY DAVIS, Evergreen reporter

The Pullman League of Women Voters hosted a panel Thursday night to discuss Pullman Regional Hospital’s COVID-19 preparedness amid an expected rise in cases.

While the number of cases has decreased over the past few weeks in Pullman, research indicates there will be an increase in infection rates in Washington, said Gerald Early, PRH chief medical and innovation officer.

Early shared coronavirus data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, indicating Washington will need 405 ICU beds by Dec. 25. The state normally has an average of 341 beds available.

To combat the expected surge, Early stressed the importance of wearing masks, social distancing and using hand sanitizer.

“Generally, the more uncomfortable the mask, the more effective,” Early said.

Early said the hospital has enough testing capacity to deal with COVID-19 cases in the area.

PRH CEO Scott Adams said testing will help protect those at greater risk of the virus. However, test results are only accurate for the day the test was taken, even though results do not always come in that fast.