IDHW: Crisis Standards of Care deactivated in north Idaho

Kootenai Health transitions to crisis standards of care
Posted at 9:23 AM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 11:23:07-05

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) announced Monday it has deactivated Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) in the Panhandle Health District.

IDHW said in a news release that the number of patients with COVID-19 is still high and is stressing healthcare systems, but the surge is no longer exceeding the healthcare resources available.

The process to deactivate CSC in the Panhandle Health District started when healthcare systems reported they had moved to contingency operations instead of operating under CSC conditions. IDHW director Dave Jeppesen convened the Crisis Standards of Care Activation Advisory Committee on December 17 to review the situation at healthcare facilities in the district.

The committee determined the healthcare systems have moved back to contingency operations and recommended that CSC be deactivated in the district. Jeppesen issued his decision to deactivate Monday morning.

“While this is good news for Idaho, we’re still watching the omicron variant very closely because this is a precarious time,” said DHW Director Dave Jeppesen. “Omicron seems to spread more easily between people, and we all need to keep taking precautions against COVID-19 by getting vaccinated or getting a booster dose, wearing masks in crowded areas, physically distancing from others, washing our hands frequently, and staying home if we’re sick to avoid overwhelming our healthcare systems again.”

Healthcare systems in Idaho are generally using contingency operations, meaning they are still stressed with an unusually high number of patients, according to IDHW. It will take a while for healthcare systems to return to normal operations and to work through delayed surgeries and other medical treatments.

IDHW says the state will continue to provide resources, including healthcare personnel through FEMA and existing federal contracts until the situation in Idaho further stabilizes.

Crisis Standards of Care was deactivated in the rest of the state on November 22.