Second patient from Western State Hospital dies of COVID-19


LAKEWOOD – The Department of Social and Health Services announced today that a second patient at the state’s oldest and largest psychiatric facility has died due to COVID-19.

The patient had been sent to a local hospital due to the seriousness of their illness and had been there for several weeks.

“We are devastated that this virus has taken one of our patients,” said Sean Murphy, Assistant Secretary for DSHS’ Behavioral Health Administration.

The first patient from Western State Hospital passed away in March due to the virus. Currently, there are four staff and six patients from Western who are positive with COVID-19. This data is updated regularly on the DSHS website.

All staff at Western State Hospital are provided appropriate PPE; patients exhibiting symptoms or who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been moved to COVID wards, and staff movement from ward to ward has been limited to slow the spread of the disease.

The COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive at some of DSHS’ 24/7 facilities, including Western, as soon as this week. DSHS worked with its partner agency, the Department of Health, and applied to receive vaccines for its frontline staff deemed to be at most risk of exposure to the virus. Receipt of the vaccine at DSHS facilities by staff is voluntary.