Idaho is seeing a dangerous COVID-19 surge right now that has filled hospitals and troubled the state’s health care system.
How bad is COVID in Idaho right now?
This week, Idaho recorded record numbers of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and intensive care unit patients — all in one week, according to The Associated Press.
Experts told The Associated Press that Idaho will see close to 30,000 new COVID-19 infections per week by the middle of September. That would be about 4,285 infections per day.
Are there any ICU beds in Idaho right now?
The relentless surge has led to a shortage of hospital beds and staff. This is even though there’s a COVID-19 vaccine available. Idaho has one of the country’s lowest vaccination rates in the country, which doesn’t help. Per CNBC, about 46% of residents ages 12 and older have been fully vaccinated, and about 51% have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- “There is so much loss here, and so much of it is preventable. I’m not just talking about loss of life. Ultimately, it’s like loss of hope,” said Dr. Jim Souza, the medical center’s chief medical officer. “When the vaccines came out in December, those of us in health care were like, ‘... it’s like the cavalry coming over the hill.’ ... To see now what’s playing out? It’s all so needless.”
Are mask mandates banned in Idaho?
Republican lawmakers in the state are trying to ban COVID-19 vaccine mandates and incentives, too, according to MSNBC. This is even though there’s only a handful of ICU beds available from the COVID-19 surge.
Idaho may enact emergency standards of scare
Idaho Gov. Brad Little has reached out to 220 medical workers — who are available through federal programs — and even mobilized 150 Idaho National Guard soldiers to help with the coronavirus surge, per EastIdahoNews.com.
- He said this is a way to deal with the statewide crisis without having to “avoid activating for the first time statewide crisis standards of care that could force medical professionals to decide who lives and who dies,” according to EastIdahoNews.com.
- “We are dangerously close to activating statewide crisis standards of care — a historic step that means Idahoans in need of health care could receive a lesser standard of care or may be turned away altogether,” Little said.