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Rural hospitals feel the pain of COVID-19 spike

Rural hospitals feeling pinch of COVID-19
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 4:13 PM MST
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MAGIC VALLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — COVID-19 cases are continuing to surge at a record pace here in Idaho, and some hospitals systems are feeling more overwhelmed than others.

During COVID-19 surges, regional hospital systems are critically impacted due to their size. Rural hospitals have less staff and fewer beds for critically ill patients compared to larger local hospitals.

Cassia Regional Hospital has 25 beds and six ICU beds. However, the hospital’s CNO says the impact of the omicron surge is less severe on the hospital than the Delta variant.

“Luckily what we are seeing, in my opinion, we are seeing a lot more people get sick with omicron, but we are seeing less people needing hospitalization,” said Bowen Harris, CNO of Cassia Regional Hospital.

The regional COVID-19 risk level in Cassia County is high, and the positivity rate is slightly more than 14%.

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