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Idaho hospitals seeing COVID-19 cases spike higher

Saint Alphonsus inside tour
Posted at 2:56 PM, Jan 06, 2022

Idaho is now in what health officials are calling COVID-19 surge number five as they continue to see an increase in demand for testing, a significant increase in case numbers and hospitalizations over the past two weeks.

St. Luke's is reporting a little over 10% of their hospital's volume and close to 30% of their ICU volume is COVID-related as those numbers continue to increase. At Saint Alphonsus, their coronavirus volume has doubled over the past two weeks, from below 20 patients to an in-patient COVID-19 volume of 43 on Thursday.

Volumes are also high because when hospitals went into Crisis Standards of Care last year, surgeries and other chronic care were delayed and now they are getting caught up.

The increase in case numbers is concerning as hospitals are seeing an increase in staff out with COVID-19, stretching their resources thin.

Related: COVID surge threatens to overwhelm some primary care offices

"This is very much like the beginning of the pandemic again," said Dr. Steven Nemerson, Saint Alphonsus Chief Clinical Officer. "And this time it is going to flatten us, quite honestly, and we need to be prepared for that and the same measures that we have been talking about for a long time are what is going to protect.”

Those measures include getting vaccinated, boosted and making sure you wear a medical-grade mask in places where you can't social distance. Health officials also want to remind people not to go to the emergency room, urgent care or even primary care doctors to get tested as they don't have the resources available.

Health officials say you should isolate and assume you have COVID-19 until you are able to get tested.