Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

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

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)

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

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.

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