Idaho is experiencing a severe shortage of available hospital resources and beds amid the renewed surge of COVID-19 infections, prompting officials Tuesday to authorize hospitals to ration care as large swells of patients are admitted with severe cases.
The Associated Press (AP) reports that some Idaho hospital systems have vocalized the dire straits staff face as new infections rise past 1,000 as of Wednesday.
State health department data reveals that intensive care unit (ICU) and regular hospital admittances had spiked to record highs amid the pandemic, with more than 540 admittances on Aug. 31 alone.
This corresponds to a decline in available ICU beds and slight fluctuations in available ventilators, although about 514 still remain unoccupied.
“We remain dangerously close to crisis standards of care,” Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said on Tuesday, per AP.
Along with hospital beds, supplies of oxygen for patients experiencing respiratory problems and cardiac arrest are dwindling.
Ada — home to the state’s capital, Boise — Canton and Kootenai are the top three counties with the highest volume of confirmed cases.
National data is working on catching up since a brief respite over the Labor Day weekend, but preexisting numbers show Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky as leading the nation in cases per 100,000 people.
Tennessee health department data shows a similarly dire picture, with only 11 percent of available floor beds, and 59 percent of all ventilators are available.
South Carolina reports having more than 26,000 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 infections amid new case counts that hover near record-high peaks seen during the winter of 2021.