WA DOH concerned about hospital capacity, urges people to socially distance on Thanksgiving

With one day left before thanksgiving health officials are still urging people to not attend large gatherings and are asking people to not have turkey dinner with anyone outside of their household.  There’s arguably more concern about the spread of COVID-19 than ever, as our state health department released new data today showing the continued spike in numbers statewide, among all age groups. DOH also said today if COVID continues to spread at this rate, by early December daily hospital admissions could be double what they are now. There is great concern that hospitals could soon be heavily burdened by the virus and have reduced ability to care for patients both with and without the virus.

So again, officials are hoping everyone really thinks about the grave state we could soon be in as they make their holiday plans.  

 “I have a really big family, I think over 15 cousins, great grandmas and grandpa, great aunts and uncles.” Samantha Schubert’s long standing family tradition has been for all her extended family to celebrate Thanksgiving together. “That’s usually the only time of year we get to be together so it’s a little sad but it’s important that we're keeping people safe.”

This year she will just be with her parents and brother-and even plans on wearing a mask and staying six feet apart from them. “I want to make sure I’m keeping my family safe, I work in the emergency room and we're seeing COVID cases, so I want to do my part.”  

As COVID cases continue to spike, she says any sadness of not getting to be with all her family is outweighed by her desire to protect them. “In the ER we're running out of PPE on a regular basis…it’s definitely a scary time.”

Keeping family safe is what Megan Shaw says is also her top priority this holiday season. “We are going to have a zoom Thanksgiving with our family on the east coast. we'll have a lap top on the table,” says Shaw. She says she’s so used to her world being virtual this year-what’s one more day? And in a way, they’ll be with more family than ever.

“We have family both in Maine and New York and we would not have normally seen the New York family, they're older relatives, so they're able to be part of it for the first time ever really,” says Shaw.

She says she’s not taking any chances with her family’s health after her baby got COVID in September from his daycare center. Thankfully, his case was mild, but it was still unnerving to say the least. No matter how slight-she’s not risking he get it again and knows how disastrous it could be if she and her husband got sick. “I would feel awful if something happened to him because we weren't able to sacrifice one holiday that frankly he won't remember.”