CDH and ICU doctors urge community to follow new advisory; "We are going to run out of people"

Posted at 8:50 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 09:06:36-05

As COVID-19 cases rise, so do concerns about overwhelming the health care systems.

Ada, Boise, Elmore and Valley counties are all under a new Central District Health public health advisory after a rapid influx of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Idaho.

According to CDH, this advisory is meant to guide the community on avoiding transmission risk.

"There is community-wide transmission and risk of transmission occurring very readily throughout our population and our communities, so there are a lot of activities that are putting people at additional risk," CDH Public Information Specialist Brandon Atkins says.

Working from home and avoiding social gatherings are two of the strong recommendations that could be reflected in an order if case numbers continue to rise or one of the health systems implements crisis standards of care.

"This really came with a bunch of things put together, largely on the heels of a major health care system pleading to the public to do something different," Atkins says.

Medical Director of Saint Alphonsus Intensive Care Unit Meghan McInerney says the number of patients with COVID in Saint Alphonsus hospitals continues to rise rapidly.

"If we keep going in this direction, we are at risk of running out of health care providers. We are going to run out of people. We are going to run out of manpower before we run out of oxygen or medical supplies," McInerney.

Being frontline help to COVID patients, McInerney urges the community to follow the recommendations, including wearing a mask and social distancing.

"I see people die from COVID, and it's an ugly death. It is not something you want your loved one to go through or something you want to go through. My advice and my plea to the community is to just take the appropriate measures and do what we have been saying we can do to prevent the transmission of this infection," McInerney.