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COVID-19 surge pushes much of Idaho toward medical rationing

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) - The Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) will hold a media briefing about COVID-19 in Idaho at 2:30 p.m. (MDT) Tuesday.

You can watch below.

Those who will attend the briefing from DHW include Director Dave Jeppesen, who will give opening remarks, along with Elke Shaw-Tulloch, administrator for the Division of Public Health; Dr. Christine Hahn, state epidemiologist; Dr. Kathryn Turner, deputy state epidemiologist; Dr, Marcia Witte, state physician; Dr. Christopher Ball, chief of the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories; and Sarah Leeds, manager of the Idaho Immunization Program.

Idaho’s public health officials say crisis standards of care are imminent for the state’s most populated region as hospitals continue to be overrun with unvaccinated coronavirus patients.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen says southern Idaho including the Boise metro area could join northern Idaho in health care rationing at any moment.

Last week, the state formally enacted “crisis standards of care” in northern Idaho, giving overwhelmed hospitals permission to direct scarce resources like intensive care unit beds to the patients most likely to survive.

At Kootenai Health in Coeur d'Alene, some coronavirus patients are being treated in a field hospital at a conference center.

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