Idaho hospitals begin rationing health care amid COVID surge


BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho public health leaders are letting the state’s northern hospitals ration health care because there are more coronavirus patients than the institutions can handle.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare made the announcement Tuesday and warned residents that they may not get all the care they need because of severe shortages of staffing and hospital beds caused by a massive increase of COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization.

The crisis standards of care are for 10 hospitals and healthcare systems in Idaho’s panhandle and north-central Idaho.

The move allows hospitals to allot scarce resources like intensive care unit rooms to patients most likely to survive.

Other patients will still receive care, but they may be placed in hospital classrooms or conference rooms rather than traditional hospital rooms or go without some life-saving medical equipment.


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