It was originally predicted by health experts that rural hospitals in Eastern Washington may have a harder time with staff losses due to the COVID vaccine mandate. But so far, that doesn’t seem to be the case for some of the state’s smallest facilities.
In general, rural Eastern Washington counties have lagged behind counties west of the Cascades in vaccination rates. Critical access hospitals — rural facilities that have 25 beds or fewer — serve an essential function in these rural counties. The loss of staff members could make a big difference in the care that is given.
Hospitals projected to lose 2% to 5% of staff after vaccine mandate
However, the rural Eastern Washington hospitals that have spoken with KIRO Radio this week reported that they are doing just fine.
In Pullman, which has had its share of COVID outbreaks in the past, staff at Pullman Regional Hospital are 100% in compliance. A statement from the hospital said that by April, 75% of staff had already been vaccinated, and it has only increased from there.
Jennifer Best, business development coordinator at Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster, told KIRO Radio that they only had to let go of six people out of 129.
“They were all per diem staff who hadn’t picked up shifts at the hospital in quite some time, so we didn’t lose any full-time employees,” Best said.
She noted that the minimal staffing loss has not affected the hospital’s ability to care for people at all — in fact, they are helping out other

Original Article