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”

Positivity rates in coronavirus tests climb, ICU patients are younger

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Boise Mayor Lauren McLean hosted health care administrators for a coronavirus briefing Wednesday to provide an update on the Delta coronavirus variant in Idaho.  The doctors stressed the importance of vaccinations and continuing to wear masks indoors as the Delta variant continues to rip through Idaho. Primary Health Medical GroupContinue reading “Positivity rates in coronavirus tests climb, ICU patients are younger”

Delta variant is now dominant in Idaho, contributing to child infections

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare stressed Tuesday that the number of coronavirus illnesses among unvaccinated people continues to rise.  The Delta variant of COVID-19, which is more transmissible, is now believed to be the dominant coronavirus variant in the state.  The test positivity rate in the state isContinue reading “Delta variant is now dominant in Idaho, contributing to child infections”

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”

Hundreds gather to rally against health care worker vaccine mandates

by Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Roughly 300 people gathered outside the Idaho capital on Thursday, protesting the mandatory vaccinations that some health care providers have implemented for employees. Saint Alphonsus Health System, St. Luke’s Health System, and Primary Health Group have announced that they will mandate employees receive the COVID-19 vaccination by Sept. 1 asContinue reading “Hundreds gather to rally against health care worker vaccine mandates”

Idaho National Guard wraps up coronavirus pandemic support missions

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports While the Idaho National Guard was recently activated to assist with emergency wildfires in the state, the Guard has spent the past eight months helping health care providers in the pandemic. The Idaho Office of Emergency Management reported that most of the Guard’s missions were “personnel support” where Guard membersContinue reading “Idaho National Guard wraps up coronavirus pandemic support missions”

Some conservatives decry mandatory vaccinations for employees; Others point to at-will employment

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Some conservatives are calling on the Idaho Legislature to reconvene in response to three of Idaho’s largest healthcare systems requiring their employees and contractors to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Thursday’s announcements from St. Alphonsus Health System, St. Luke’s Health System, and Primary Health Group prompted ire from a handful ofContinue reading “Some conservatives decry mandatory vaccinations for employees; Others point to at-will employment”