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Today in Idaho hospitals and COVID-19 (updated 8/31): Patients, ERs, ICUs

Boise - Hospitals - 2021
Otto Kitsinger
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St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center is one of the hospitals that took patients from around the state and Northwest region during the COVID-19 surge that stretched from fall to winter 2020. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

Get daily updates on Idaho hospital capacity, pediatric and adult COVID-19 hospitalizations

There now are more people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Idaho than at any other point in the pandemic. Over the weekend, 505 people in Idaho needed around-the-clock nursing care for the coronavirus disease. Patients with COVID-19 have numbered more than 500 for the past few days.

The state also reached another sobering point in the health crisis: More than half of Idaho’s adult ICU beds are now filled with COVID-19 patients.

A week ago, that number was 43.5%. A month ago, it was 17.5%.

The state’s hospitals continue to have record-breaking occupancy rates, as dozens of new patients are admitted each day with COVID-19. At least one hospital has begun the process of seeking a “crisis standards of care” designation. Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene has reached a critical point where it may need to resort to such measures, Idaho Reports first reported last week.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced Tuesday he has re-activated the Idaho National Guard to bring more staffing help to overburdened hospitals. The move will bring up to 370 people, including guardsmen and medical and administrative personnel, to help hospitals deal with the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Federal data show the following, based on reports submitted by hospitals for Monday, Aug. 30. Several hospitals did not report on this day, so the numbers may be adjusted in the future. Numbers in black are unchanged from the previous day; numbers in red are higher, and numbers in green are lower:

  • Idaho hospitals with a critical staffing shortage: 3
  • People hospitalized with COVID-19: 501 which is 23.4% of people hospitalized for all reasons
  • Adults in the ICU with COVID-19: 156
  • Children hospitalized with COVID-19: 1
  • Patients newly admitted to the hospital with confirmed or suspected COVID-19: 64Children: 0
    Age 18-19: 220s: 430s: 340s: 250s: 1060s: 1670s: 1580+: 12
  • People who died in Idaho hospitals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19: 5

Note: These numbers may differ from those reported by the state, local public health districts or individual hospitals. There are multiple reasons for this: Some agencies use different methods and data sources. A small number of Idaho hospitals may be a day behind on reporting through the federal portal from which the Sun gets its data. Hospital census always fluctuates as patients are admitted, discharged or remain there for ongoing care.

The Idaho Capital Sun is a nonprofit news organization delivering accountability reporting on state government, politics and policy in the Gem state.