Idaho warns residents they may not get expected care due to COVID-19 hospitalizations

Idaho warns residents they may not get expected care due to COVID-19 hospitalizations
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Idaho is warning residents they may not get the care they expect at hospitals due to COVID-19 cases overrunning the health care system and depleting resources. 

The state entered a “Crisis Standards of Care” on Monday after a vote by the Crisis Standards of Care Activation Advisory Committee. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced the decision Tuesday. 

The crisis standard was enacted “because of a severe shortage of staffing and available beds in the northern area of the state caused by a massive increase in patients with COVID-19 who require hospitalization.”

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The standard applies to 10 hospitals and health care systems in the state’s north central and panhandle regions, and allows health care workers to allocate resources to those most likely to survive.

“When crisis standards of care are in effect, people who need medical care may experience care that is different from what they expect,” the statement reads. “For example, patients admitted to the hospital may find that hospital beds are not available or are in repurposed rooms (such as a conference room) or that needed equipment is not available.”

Coronavirus cases have spiked in the state, overwhelming the health care system. 

With the current rate of COVID-19 cases, the state could see 30,000 cases a week by the middle of September, medical experts say, according to The Associated Press.

Forty-three percent of Idaho residents are fully vaccinated, data from Johns Hopkins University showed.

“We have reached an unprecedented and unwanted point in the history of our state. We have taken so many steps to avoid getting here, but yet again we need to ask more Idahoans to choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) said.

“More Idahoans need to choose to receive the vaccine so we can minimize the spread of the disease and reduce the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, many of which involve younger Idahoans and are preventable with safe and effective vaccines,” he added.