Crisis Standards of Care go back into effect in southern Idaho

Virus Outbreak Oregon Crisis Care
Posted at 10:11 AM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-24 12:23:22-05

Crisis Standards of Care is reactivated for southern Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) have gone back into effect for southern Idaho due to severe staffing and blood shortages.

CSC are in place for three public health districts — Southwest District Health, Central District Health and South Central District Health.

The action was taken per the request of Saint Alphonsus Health System. The CSC Activation Advisory Committee recommended the standards be activated statewide, but IDHW Director Dave Jeppesen made the decision to only activate it for southern Idaho.

Related: Hospital leaders discuss Crisis Standards of Care in Idaho

"The highly contagious Omicron variant has thrown us a curve ball,” said
Jeppesen in a statement. "Once again, the situation in our hospitals and health systems is dire – we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat patients. Please get vaccinated and boosted if you can and wear a high-quality protective mask in public places. Omicron is so much more contagious than previous variants, and even though a lower percentage of cases are ending up in the hospital, the record number of cases is still putting strain on our healthcare system."

IDHW announced the number of staff unable to work due to the impact of COVID-19 infections as well as the national shortage of traveling staff is impacting hospital operations. It is also limiting hospital's ability to maintain capacity for intensive care beds. The nation-wide shortage of blood products is also impacting healthcare systems, according to IDHW.

The standards initially went into effect in north Idaho Sept. 7 and activated for the rest of the state Sept. 16. CSC was then deactivated for most of the state Nov. 22, but stayed activated in north Idaho until Dec. 20.

Related: What is Crisis Standards of Care and how will it affect you?

At a media briefing Jan. 11, state health officials said all measures monitored each day for COVID-19 are headed in the opposite direction they want to see, as omicron spreads across Idaho and is infecting more people faster.

Right now, health officials and hospitals leaders say Idaho is seeing the fifth COVID-19 surge as they continue to see an increase in demand for testing, a significant increase in case numbers over the past two weeks.

Related: COVID-19 in Idaho: 2 lawmakers test positive, Caldwell School District announces closure

IDHW reported the number of positive tests set in a day set a record twice this week — 2,319 cases were reported Jan. 11, surpassing the previous record 2,298 daily case record set in December of 2020. The state then reported an additional 2,821 new cases Jan. 12.

The decision will be further discussed 2:30 p.m. Tuesday during the IDHW weekly meeting.