Idaho is now fully out of crisis standards of care. It took three months.

A couple of weeks ago, North Idaho’s largest hospital reported open ICU beds for the first time in months.

By: - December 20, 2021 9:46 am
A microscopic image of human patient cells infected by the SARS-CoV2 virus.

This colorized scanning electron micrograph image shows a COVID-19 patient’s cell (green) heavily infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (purple). (Courtesy of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

The Panhandle region of Idaho has emerged from crisis standards of care after 105 days.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced Monday morning that Director Dave Jeppesen deactivated his crisis declaration, which he issued Sept. 6.

“While the number of COVID-19 patients remains high and continues to stress health care systems, the surge is currently no longer exceeding the health care resources available,” the department’s news release Monday said.

“While this is good news for Idaho, we’re still watching the omicron variant very closely because this is a precarious time,” Jeppesen said in the news release. “Omicron seems to spread more easily between people, and we all need to keep taking precautions against COVID-19 by getting vaccinated or getting a booster dose, wearing masks in crowded areas, physically distancing from others, washing our hands frequently, and staying home if we’re sick to avoid overwhelming our health care systems again.”

Crisis standards of care was deactivated for the rest of the state on Nov. 22.

Hospitals throughout Idaho remain stressed, with hundreds of COVID-19 patients. Intensive care units continue to report about one-third of patients have COVID-19, according to federal data.

Idaho hospitals will continue to receive support, including health care staffing provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and federal contracts, until the coronavirus surge is stabilized, the news release said.


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Audrey Dutton
Audrey Dutton

Audrey Dutton, senior investigative reporter, joined the Idaho Capital Sun after 10 years at the Idaho Statesman. Her favorite topics to cover include health care, business, consumer protection issues and white collar crime. Before coming home to Idaho, Dutton worked as a journalist in Minnesota, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Dutton's work has earned dozens of state, regional and national awards for investigative reporting, health care and business reporting, data visualization and more.