Magic Valley hospitals nearing need for Crisis Standards of Care

“Without a course change, we will be entering Crisis Standards of Care soon in those areas”
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:46 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Magic Valley hospitals are nearing a critical time.

Two northern Idaho health districts initiated crisis standards of care last week. Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen says this could happen in the Magic Valley valley and Treasure Valley.

“Without a course change, we will be entering Crisis Standards of Care soon in those areas,” said Jeppesen.

When Crisis Standards of Care are in effect, medical services may be different than what people expect. Resources are limited to the point of impacting care.

COVID-19 patients in hospitals, ICU beds, and on ventilators are breaking pandemic records in Idaho. Last week, there was an average of 604 COVID-19 hospitalizations a day, with an average of 169 ICU beds and 98 ventilators in use.

“Nearly all the metrics we track are trending in the wrong direction,” said Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Turner.

Comparing last year in mid-April to September of this year, the percentage of people dying from age 50 to 79 has increased by 17%, and nearly 4% for those 18 to 49. This is according to data from the Department of Health and Welfare.

Graphics can be seen here

Is there thought of moving backstages or adding restrictions in the Gem State?

“Ideally, those actions are best done at a local level, the mayor’s and the public health districts who have authority to make some of those decisions as well and are closest to the situations, as well as the school boards across the state,” said Jeppesen.

What about schools?

The Twin Falls school district reported 15 COVID-19 cases Tuesday. There have been 376 since the start of the school year, but health officials say the spread is more from the community around students than school itself.

“That has been true for the earlier part of the pandemic, and we’re seeing the same thing now,” said Turner.

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