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State health officials: Idaho not exempt from Omicron surge

“We could very well be right back where we were last fall with the same pressure on our healthcare system that sent us into Crisis Standards of Care”
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 4:38 PM MST
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IDAHO (KMVT/KSVT) — COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in Idaho due to the spread of the Omicron variant, which now accounts for 88% of virus cases in the Gem State.

Given the high volume of COVID-19 tests being taken, there is a backlog. The Department of Health and Welfare said health districts are having a difficult time verifying COVID-19 positive people in Idaho over a 24 hour period. As a result, the incidence rate published in Idaho is 48 people per 100,000, but the estimated rate is 135 people per 100,000.

Despite some evidence showing the Omicron variant to not be as dangerous as the Delta variant, health officials urge caution.

“Even if Omicron were half as likely to cause severe disease — and I’m not saying that’s the truth — saying, theoretically if it is spreading twice as much as the Delta variant, we could very well be right back where we were last fall with the same pressure on our healthcare system that sent us into Crisis Standards of Care,” said Idaho Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Turner.

The Omricon variant has affected people faster than any other strain, according to officials. They expect cases to continue to rise.

The Department of Health and Welfare urges individuals to take precautions like washing hands, getting vaccinated or getting the COVID-19 booster.

Department of Health and Welfare COVID-19 Incidence rate
Department of Health and Welfare COVID-19 Incidence rate(Idaho Department of Health and Welfare)

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