Crisis standards of care committee to meet this week as hospitals risk being overwhelmed

By Ruth Brown and Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports On Tuesday, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare officials said the state’s crisis standards of care advisory committee will meet later this week, signaling how close Idaho is to a public health crisis in which hospitals are overwhelmed and must ration health care.  Elke Shaw-Tulloch, administrator forContinue reading “Crisis standards of care committee to meet this week as hospitals risk being overwhelmed”

Division of Public Health: Idaho could reach 30,000 cases per week by mid-October

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports At a Thursday news conference, Dr. Jim Souza of St. Luke’s Health Systems said the fourth surge of COVID-19 cases is on track to be worse than December’s surge, which nearly triggered the state to declare crisis standards of care.  It’s becoming more clear just how bad that surge couldContinue reading “Division of Public Health: Idaho could reach 30,000 cases per week by mid-October”

No surprise: Census numbers show Idaho growth concentrated in a few areas

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports On Thursday, the US Census Bureau released its 2020 Census information to states, allowing the redistricting process to begin. Later in the day, Idaho’s Legislative Services Office sent out spreadsheets with information on population changes by Idaho county, city, legislative district, and congressional district from 2010 and 2020. The documentsContinue reading “No surprise: Census numbers show Idaho growth concentrated in a few areas”

St. Luke’s hopes more employees choose to get vaccinated as hospital faces staffing crunch

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho’s latest COVID-19 surge, which has prompted some hospitals to delay certain non-emergency procedures because of staffing shortages, comes as a September deadline approaches for employees of St. Luke’s, Saint Alphonsus, and Primary Health to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.  During a media call on Thursday, St. Luke’sContinue reading “St. Luke’s hopes more employees choose to get vaccinated as hospital faces staffing crunch”

Little urges vaccinations as Delta threatens normal school year for Idaho kids

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Gov. Brad Little warned Thursday that rising COVID-19 rates could jeopardize a normal, in-person school year for Idaho students. At a press conference at Nampa High School, Little encouraged vaccinations as the most effective way to ensure an uninterrupted school year for Idaho’s children. “We can minimize or limit disruptionsContinue reading “Little urges vaccinations as Delta threatens normal school year for Idaho kids”

Some Idaho hospitals delay non-emergency procedures as hospitalizations, ICU admissions rise

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions are climbing statewide, two of the state’s largest hospitals, St. Luke’s Health System in southern Idaho and Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene, have announced they are once again halting certain non-emergency procedures because of the recent increase in COVID-19 patients.  On Wednesday, theContinue reading “Some Idaho hospitals delay non-emergency procedures as hospitalizations, ICU admissions rise”

Will healthcare workers who decline the vaccine be eligible for unemployment?

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Protests continue in the lead-up to vaccination deadlines set by St. Luke’s, St. Alphonsus, and Primary Health, but if nothing changes between now and September, will employees who are fired for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine be eligible for unemployment benefits?  It depends, but it will likely be an uphillContinue reading “Will healthcare workers who decline the vaccine be eligible for unemployment?”

Oh, we’re back to this again: Test positivity climbs to 8 percent for first time since January

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho recorded 439 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the highest one-day total logged since March, and is nearing 200,000 total cases over the course of the pandemic.  The state’s positivity rate has climbed to 8 percent for the first time since January, and the number of confirmed cases with theContinue reading “Oh, we’re back to this again: Test positivity climbs to 8 percent for first time since January”

Idaho receiving $5.6 billion through ARPA. Now the hard work begins.

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho is anticipating $5.65 billion in direct payments, grants, and fiscal relief from the American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law in March. Figuring out how to spend that money is shaping up to be a complex task, as lawmakers heard during the first meeting of the Interim Committee onContinue reading “Idaho receiving $5.6 billion through ARPA. Now the hard work begins.”

As Delta rises, state still not able to sequence most COVID positives for variants

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports As new cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions have nearly doubled in Idaho in the last few weeks, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is eyeing a rise in confirmed Delta variant cases. During a media call on Tuesday, state epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn said not all hospitals and labsContinue reading “As Delta rises, state still not able to sequence most COVID positives for variants”