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Idaho not seeing increase in hospitalizations related to COVID-19 yet

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Posted at 5:08 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 19:08:49-04

IDAHO — States across the country have seen a rise in positive COVID-19 cases. Idaho, being one of them, has seen an increase in cases, specifically in Ada County.

Officials at the local hospitals have noticed an uptick in COVID-19 cases. Former President and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, Dr. David Pate, believes the hospitals are still well within their capability to handle the rise due to surge planning.

"Idaho is a little bit different than other states. A lot of these other states are not only seeing an increase in cases, but an increase in hospitalizations, we have not seen that yet," Pate says.

Younger people aged 18 to 29 have been the age group with the highest spike in positive cases.

"We're seeing a lot of younger people get infected and possibly because of the nature of bars that could help attract it," Pate says.

Although their death rate is relatively low, that does not mean they couldn't become critically ill.

"It does not mean, you are not going to get very sick, it does not mean you might not end up in the hospital, you might not end up on a ventilator," Pate says.

He also says it's important to remember that you might be infected, but asymptomatic. So, be extra cautious when going out in public.

"You're still infectious. You might go to work; you might go to visit mom and dad. You might go visit grandma in the nursing home, you can spread it," Pate says.

COVID-19 is primarily spread through saliva, breathe and even sneezes, which is why Dr. Pate says it is so important to wear a mask or face covering.

"The face mask will actually block quite a bit of that going out of your mouth or nose and help protect somebody else, and if they wear a mask, they will similarly help protect you," Pate says.

An increase in hospitalization is not a problem Idaho is currently seeing, but if the cases continue to rise, that could change.