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Idaho health care professionals paint grim picture of COVID-19 situation on regional hospitals

Doctor says in spite of a toxic narrative from a minority, few are denigrating the work health care providers do
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 12:52 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Idaho health professionals came together Tuesday with an update, painting a grim picture on the toll the coronavirus is taking on the regions hospitals.

The vice president and chief medical officer of St. Luke’s began the meeting.

Dr. Jim Souza said that as they talk, people are dying inside Idaho’s hospitals because of COVID-19.

Souza said Idaho’s medical professionals are working long hours and doing the best they can to save lives.

He said, in spite of a toxic narrative from a minority, few are denigrating the work they do. “I’d like to know when we are going to stop giving oxygen to those that say this is either a hoax or no big deal, that there is an effort to take away their freedom,” he said. “Either we ignore the virus or ruin the economy .... that is complete B.S.”

Souza said medical facilities are “jammed to the gills.” Lastly, he said health care professionals are not getting the virus at work, which is proof if the public would take safety precautions, it would limit the chance of getting COVID.

Dr. Terry O’Connor from St. Luke’s Wood River said their motivation is simply giving great care.

“It’s not only clear to me based on science, but also based on real life experience and the stress test that our community went through, we cannot be good stewards of this problem, of this pandemic, we cannot provide the best care possible without our communities help,” O’Conner said.

At the moment, O’Connor said the numbers continue to climb steadily over the last month.

He said practice within the hospital has been affected that includes days where they can no longer admit any more patients to their hospital.

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