Gov. Jay Inslee has sent a letter petitioning the federal government to provide aid for hospitals currently dealing with staffing shortages and increases in COVID patients.

As of late last week, the state Department of Health reports that over the most recently measured seven-day period, 23% of hospital beds in Washington were occupied by patients with COVID-19. That marks the highest rate the state has seen over the course of the entire pandemic, as well as a sizable increase over the seven-day average of 4.5% the state saw in mid-July.

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