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Coronavirus

COVID Surge Pushes Much of Idaho Toward Medical Rationing

September 15, 2021

BOISE, Idaho — Public health officials in Idaho say crisis standards of care are imminent for the state’s most populated region as hospitals continue to be overrun with unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.

Dave Jeppesen, the director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, says southern Idaho including the Boise metropolitan area could join northern Idaho in rationing health care at any moment.

Last week, the state formally enacted “crisis standards of care” in northern Idaho, giving overwhelmed hospitals permission to direct scarce resources like intensive care unit beds to the patients most likely to survive. At Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene, some COVID-19 patients are being treated in a field hospital at a conference center.

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