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Today in Idaho hospitals and COVID-19 (updated 9/5): Patients, ERs, ICUs

Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise on March 21, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)
Otto Kitsinger
Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise on March 21, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

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

The holiday weekend before Labor Day, after a week when several schools closed due to COVID-19, Idaho hospitals remain over capacity because of the coronavirus surge.

State data show that Idahoans who aren’t fully vaccinated for COVID-19 are 617% more likely to be hospitalized than those who are fully vaccinated, based on hospitalization rates since May.

In hospitals run by Idaho’s largest health care system, every third patient is there with COVID-19. At the St. Luke’s hospital in Twin Falls, the share of people hospitalized who have COVID-19 is nearing 50%.

The numbers this week continued to show record-high hospitalizations, especially in intensive care units. That is pushing hospitals to the brink of crisis and forcing some of them to postpone non-emergency procedures, like heart surgeries.

Gov. Brad Little’s reactivated the Idaho National Guard to bring help to overburdened hospitals. State officials predict that deployment, and staffing help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will bring up to 370 people to hospitals during this fourth surge in COVID-19 cases.

Federal data show the following, based on reports submitted by hospitals for Saturday, Sept. 4. For quick visual reference, numbers in black are unchanged from the previous day, numbers in red are worsened, and numbers in green are improved.

  • Idaho hospitals with a critical staffing shortage: 4 (previous day: 4)
  • People hospitalized with COVID-19: 530 (previous day: 529) which is 21.8% (previous day: 21.3%) of people hospitalized for all reasons
  • Adults in the ICU with COVID-19: 163 (previous day: 161)
  • Children hospitalized with COVID-19: 4 (previous day: 6)
  • Patients newly admitted to the hospital with confirmed or suspected COVID-19: 75 (previous day: 74)Children: 1 (previous day: 0)
    Age 18-19: 0 (previous day: 0)20s: 4 (previous day: 4)30s: 11 (previous day: 9)40s: 7 (previous day: 6)50s: 14 (previous day: 17)60s: 17 (previous day: 16)70s: 10 (previous day: 14)80+: 10 (previous day: 7)age unknown: 1 (previous day: 1)
  • People who died in Idaho hospitals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19: 8 (previous day: 12)

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. Some Idaho hospitals may be behind on reporting through the federal portal from which the Sun gets its data. Hospital census always fluctuates as patients are admitted, discharged, moved to and from the ICU, and remain hospitalized 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.