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Things changed when Astria Hospital shut down. With just one hospital in Yakima, what would we do, what would happen ...if....    And then "IF" happened.  Coronavirus and COVID-19 turned the world upside down.

The virus was "novel", unknown in its impact, its ability to spread, its lethality,  but we learned fast of its potential as a killer.  The scramble was on for more space, more hospital beds, supplies, testing equipment and knowledge.

The need for more space based on meeting the needs of current and future non-virus related patients, the known new coronavirus patients and the potential for even more coronavirus patients to come.

On Sunday March 29th, 2020, Astria Health filed a notice in the US Bankruptcy Court requesting approval to lease Astria Regional Medical Center in Yakima to potentially re-open the closed hospital as part of the Yakima County response to Covid-19.

The news release from reads "the State of Washington Department of Health and Astria Health are in negotiations on the lease agreement. Under an interim agreement, the State would lease the building for six months for $1.5 million a month."

Yakima's Health District and the Emergency Operations Center indicate the Astria facility could play a role in their plans if there is a spike in cases in area.

Health officials remind us that "the best prevention of Covid-19 is to stay at home with your family and not leave your home. If you go out of your home for essential services, (grocery shopping or get immediate medical attention), practice social distancing.

Don’t leave your home if you don’t need to. Going out in public adds unnecessary interactions with people that could be infected".