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St. Luke's continues to see high number of COVID-19 hospitalizations

Posted at 3:27 PM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 07:36:03-05

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — As the omicron variant surges in Idaho, hospitals continue to see high numbers of COVID-19 patients.

“About 25% of our adult MedSurg admissions and about 40% of our adult ICU admissions are COVID patients. Our positivity rates are extremely high. It’s truly unlike anything we’ve seen in the pandemic so far,” said Dr. Jim Souza, St. Luke’s chief physician executive.

In addition to high positivity rates, staffing shortages are causing concern.

Related: St. Luke’s will begin scheduling vaccine boosters for 12- to 15-year-olds

“Our sick call offs are up more than 20 fold in the last three weeks. We are pulling providers from ambulances or at clinics in to work as hospitalists. We’ve got back up plans for other providers but staffing would be the new wrinkle in the surge, I am concerned, would push us to crisis,” said Dr. Souza.

The overall capacity of care changes daily, sometimes by the hour, Souza said.

The majority of those hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, said Souza. He recommends getting vaccinated and boosted.