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Today in Idaho hospitals and COVID-19 (updated 9/7): Patients, ERs, ICUs

Health care workers during a shift in a COVID-19 unit at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center on Aug. 30, 2021. (Courtesy of St. Luke’s Health System)
Health care workers during a shift in a COVID-19 unit at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center on Aug. 30, 2021. (Courtesy of St. Luke’s Health System)

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

Idaho Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen on Labor Day activated “crisis standards of care” for the North Idaho region.

That day, Idaho hospitals and intensive care units had a record-high number of patients with COVID-19.

There were 553 people hospitalized in Idaho with COVID-19 on Monday, the most ever. That included seven children.

Idaho ICU beds were just shy of 90% full on Monday, and nearly 56% of those patients had COVID-19. Those are the highest rates since Idaho hospitals began reporting their patient counts.

Jeppesen said on Tuesday that hospitals outside North Idaho are “dangerously close” to reaching the point of needing crisis standards of care, but they haven’t requested it yet.

State data show that Idahoans who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 are 7.17 times less likely to be hospitalized than those who aren’t, based on hospitalization rates since May.

A total of 10,037 people have been hospitalized in Idaho with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to state data. That’s about 1 in every 184 Idahoans.

In hospitals run by St. Luke’s, Idaho’s largest health care system, every third patient is there with COVID-19.

Federal data show the following, based on reports submitted by hospitals for Monday, Sept. 6. 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: 3 (previous day: 3)
    • People hospitalized with COVID-19: 553 (previous day: 546) which is 24.8% (previous day: 22.6%) of people hospitalized for all reasons
    • Adults in the ICU with COVID-19: 170 (previous day: 161)
    • Children hospitalized with COVID-19: 7 (previous day: 4)
    • Patients newly admitted to the hospital with confirmed or suspected COVID-19: 71 (previous day: 81)Children: 2 (previous day: 0)
      Age 18-19: 0 (previous day: 0)20s: 2 (previous day: 2)30s: 7 (previous day: 8)40s: 12 (previous day: 8)50s: 12 (previous day: 11)60s: 14 (previous day: 22)70s: 13 (previous day: 13)80+: 8 (previous day: 16)age unknown: 1 (previous day: 1)
    • People who died in Idaho hospitals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19: 7 (previous day: 6)

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.