St. Luke's Nampa hospital saw ICU fill up with patients

Posted at 4:35 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 09:27:06-04

NAMPA, Idaho — The ICU at St. Luke's Nampa hospital filled up with patients, both COVID-19 and unrelated, last week. Now, they are at around 80% capacity in their intensive care unit.

Canyon County has seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases over the past couple of weeks.

"We've definitely seen a pretty significant increase," Vice President of Medical Affairs for St. Luke's, Michaela Shulte says. "Especially in Canyon County over the last couple of weeks."

Shulte also mentioned since the hospital opened back in October 2017, they had not seen hospitalization numbers like this, especially the numbers from the last week.

"The overall rise of COVID cases has been very concerning to me and to my colleagues," Shulte says.

While the ICU did hit full capacity at one point, patients were transferred to other St. Luke's locations throughout the Treasure Valley to receive care.

"Somebody comes to our emergency room, and instead of being admitted to one of the beds that are in our facility, they would be transferred to Boise or Meridian," Shulte says.

Health care works are one of the most vital resources to the pandemic right now. Shulte says they are most likely to contract the virus from the community rather than a patient, due to their protective gear and equipment.

"Wearing masks and following those recommendations of personal hygiene around coughing and keeping everything clean really reduces the odds of contracting COVID," Shulte says.

It is recommended that everyone wears masks and socially distances themselves, especially when in public.