Confluence Health Intensive Care Unit is nearing capacity and the healthcare facility is working to expand the unit to the third floor. Confluence has also restarted up drive thru testing.

The main ICU in this region is located at Central Washington Hospital and the other is Samaritan Healthcare, which is located in Moses Lake.

"The other hospitals are really not equipped to provide intensive care type services," said Dr. Peter Rutherford, CEO.

Typically, Confluence can staff around 15-16 ICU beds on an ongoing basis and typically about half of the people in the ICU are on ventilators. Currently, there are 15 beds filled with 10 patients COVID positive and on ventilators.

"We have changed the ventilation system on the third floor of the hospital where the ICU currently is and we plan to move down that hallway beyond there to the rest of the third floor," said Dr. Rutherford.

According to Dr. Rutherford, with the expansion, there can be roughly 40 venalitors with a really stretched staff.

The drive-thru testing has reopened after addressing an issue that cropped up initally.

"You have to have the appropriate swab and the material to put the sample in and then you have to have a way to get the test run in a laboratory to get a result," said Dr. Rutherford.

In March, Confluence had adequate supplies and were having tests run out of two laboratories from University of Washington or Quest. Initially, as Confluence tested, testing supplies ran short and turnaround time wasn't quick enough.

These factors have improved so Confluence opted to reopen the drive thru testing.

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