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St. Luke’s Magic Valley reaches ICU capacity

“Healthcare systems are under a tremendous amount of stress right now and we expect that to get worse before it gets better”
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 10:31 AM MST
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MAGIC VALLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — St. Luke’s Magic Valley has reached capacity in the ICU and cannot accept transfers from other hospital facilities for patients needing ICU care.

KMVT reached out to St. Luke’s about their capacity levels with the current surge of COVID-19 in Southern Idaho. We were told while their ICU is at capacity, their emergency department is open and they are accepting time-sensitive emergencies.

They added their overall capacity for care changes day-to-day, even hour-to-hour. Patients needing ICU care from St. Luke’s Wood River are still be transferred to St. Luke’s Magic Valley at this time.

St. Luke’s says overall hospitalizations remain high for numerous reasons with COVID-19 patients being one part of the overall picture.

Looking at the numbers throughout the St. Luke’s health system, nearly 30% of hospitalizations are due to COVID-19. Overall, the Department of Health and Welfare is concerned about what omicron is doing across Idaho.

“Healthcare systems are under a tremendous amount of stress right now and we expect that to get worse before it gets better,” said Dave Jeppesen, Director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in a media briefing Tuesday.

From the week ending in Jan. 8, PCR testing positivity rate was 25.7%. 5% is the goal. Putting you first, KMVT wanted to know what this means for areas schools.

The Twin Falls School district saw 159 cases of COVID-19 between students and staff this week. That’s the most they have ever dealt with, including 44 on Friday.

“We’re monitoring that very closely. Our big concern is being able to see our school staffed and open at this point,” said Eva Craner, public relations specialist with the Twin Falls School District.

On the student side, Craner says the school district is seeing a pandemic normal of about 90% student attendance.

So what does that mean for your family?

“If they drop into that 85% range that’s when we will continue to take a look, but really we want to be open as much as possible for the students and families that rely on us every day,” Craner said.

There is some good news, however. While officials continue to compile data on the omicron variant, the symptoms continue to be milder than the delta variant for the vaccinated.

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