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Increases in COVID-19 cases worrying state health experts

“I have three points to make; get the vaccine, get the vaccine, get the vaccine.”
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:34 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Coronavirus variants are spreading across the country with consequences of Idaho’s low vaccination rates are beginning to worry the state’s health experts.

“Beginning to see that momentum, that demand, and you start seeing so many positives daily,” said Dr. David Peterman, CEO of Primary Health. “It’s very concerning, very concerning.”

According to Dr. Peterman, the rates of positive tests are beginning to mirror those from the peak of the pandemic in Idaho last winter.

The difference this year, doctors say they had the pandemic under control just weeks ago.

“What we don’t know is how bad this is going to get, and we don’t want it to get completely out of control,” said Dr. Steven Nemerson, Chief Clinical Officer of Saint Alphonsus Health System. “We don’t want to return to that environment that we were in a year ago when we were talking about contingencies and, God forbid, restricting the ability to deliver care.”

The main concern among medical experts in Idaho is the unvaccinated population.

“In terms of St. Alphonsus experience today, none of our patients in the Intensive Care Unit, that have COVID, are vaccinated,” Dr. Nemerson said. “They are all unvaccinated.”

Doctors across the state hope to get past this pandemic as soon as possible, and their advice for how to do so is very much the same.

“The patients that are at risk of losing their lives, it’s because they are not vaccinated,” Dr. Nemerson said.

“I have three points to make,” said Dr. Jim Souza St. Luke’s Chief Physician Executive, “get the vaccine, get the vaccine, get the vaccine.”

Data shows that Idaho is at risk of a serious second wave, as new variants, like the Delta variant, are much more contagious and could target Idaho’s younger, unvaccinated population.

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