The group had been brought by a call on social media after a woman claimed her elderly mother had declined a COVID test and was being held against her will
SALMON CREEK — A group of 15 to 20 people gathered outside of Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital on Friday night, forcing the building into a temporary lock out.
According to a release from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, a woman called dispatch at 4:48 p.m. on Friday, saying her mother had been admitted the day before to receive medical treatment. The caller stated she had medical Power of Attorney, but was being denied access to see her mother.
Hospital personnel said the woman had refused to submit to a mandatory COVID test upon being admitted to the hospital, so she had been placed under 24-hour quarantine while receiving medical treatment.
The hospital said the patient’s daughter had attempted to enter while refusing to wear a mask, and had been turned away.
A deputy arrived a short time later and said he spoke with the patient and, after asking some basic questions, determined she was able to make her own decisions. She told the deputy she wished to remain in the hospital in order to receive treatment.
During that time, a group of people gathered outside the hospital’s emergency department, brought there by a request from the patient’s daughter, and began demanding the patient’s release.
In a livestream on YouTube, a friend of the woman’s daughter had put out a request for “all hands on deck” at the hospital, demanding the release of the patient.
Additional CCSO units responded to the scene at the request of Legacy security personnel after the building had been placed on lockout, during which no one could enter.
Deputies noted that several people arriving were open-carrying firearms, and some had gas masks with them. A total of 22 deputies eventually responded in order to prevent an onrush of people at the entrance.
The release from CCSO says that during the confrontation, a number of people affiliated with the patient’s daughter attempted to force their way into the hospital after the doors had been opened to admit another person unrelated to the incident. Deputies physically pushed them back onto the portico.
One unidentified male again tried to force the door open and assault a deputy. After a warning, the man reportedly again tried to force the door and was sprayed in the face with pepper spray. No arrests were made during the confrontation.
Just before 8 p.m., the on-scene sergeant notified dispatch that the patient had requested to leave and was being prepared for discharge.
At approximately 8:40 p.m., the patient was released from the hospital and driven home by family. The crowd dispersed a short time later.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office contributed to this report.