Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Today in Idaho hospitals and COVID-19 (updated 10/17): Patients, ERs, ICUs

Wyoming, Idaho and Montana had the highest percent of COVID-19 patients as a share of all people hospitalized, as of mid-October. (Map by Audrey Dutton, Idaho Capital Sun)
Wyoming, Idaho and Montana had the highest percent of COVID-19 patients as a share of all people hospitalized, as of mid-October. (Map by Audrey Dutton, Idaho Capital Sun)

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

The delta-fueled surge of COVID-19 has become a sustained burden on hospitals in Idaho and the upper Mountain West.

Wyoming has overtaken Idaho for the highest COVID-19 hospital occupancy. About 25% of people hospitalized in Wyoming as of Saturday had COVID-19. In Idaho, it was 23%. In Montana, it was 21%.

The same dynamic was true for ICU patients. About 66% of patients in the ICU in Wyoming's hospitals had COVID-19. In both Idaho and Montana, it was 59%.

New and ongoing hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Idaho have both fallen consistently for more than a week. That corresponds with health care providers and state-sponsored infusion sites ramping up the use of monoclonal antibodies that can keep high-risk patients out of the hospital, when patients are treated early enough.

Idaho's rapidly escalating number of new COVID-19 cases has slowed, too. But the state's low vaccination rate means that, even with fewer cases, people who lack immunity and become infected with the coronavirus are much more likely to become severely ill.

Largely driven by ICUs being overburdened with severely ill COVID-19 patients, Idaho remains in a statewide hospital crisis for the 31st day in a row.

Federal data show the following, based on reports from hospitals for Saturday, Oct. 16. (See "Notes" below for additional information about the data.) For quick visual reference, numbers in black are unchanged from the previous day, numbers in red are worsened, and numbers in green are improved.

  • People hospitalized with COVID-19: 583 (previous day: 597) which is 23.1% (previous day: 23%) of people hospitalized for all reasons
  • Adults in the ICU with COVID-19: 176 (previous day: 174)
  • Children hospitalized with COVID-19: 7 (previous day: 8)
  • Patients newly admitted to the hospital with confirmed or suspected COVID-19: 57 (previous day: 62)
  • Rolling 7-day average of new COVID-19 admissions each day, by age:
    Children: 2 (previous day's rolling average: 2)
    Age 18-19: 0 (previous: 1)
    20s: 3 (previous: 3)
    30s: 5 (previous: 5)
    40s: 6 (previous: 7)
    50s: 7 (previous: 8)
    60s: 14 (previous: 15)
    70s: 18 (previous: 18)
    80+: 11 (previous: 12)
    age unknown: 0 (previous: 0)
  • People who died in Idaho hospitals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19: 17 (previous day: 22)
  • Staffed adult ICU beds that were still available statewide, according to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare data: 15 (previous day: 17)

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. Hospital census always fluctuates as patients are admitted, discharged, moved to and from the ICU, and remain hospitalized for ongoing care. And some Idaho hospitals may be behind on reporting through the federal portal from which the Sun gets its data, which can result in revisions to the previous one to three days' totals. (The federal data use the most recent numbers reported by each hospital in the previous four-day period. The rationale is to get the numbers as close as possible to being accurate; for example, it reduces the risk of hospitalizations appearing to plummet if a large hospital misses a day of reporting.) Where the Sun shows a "previous day" count, that is the number reported the previous day, regardless of whether it was revised up or down since then.

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