Community Hospital COVID-19 (copy)

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced Sept. 7, 2021, that it declared Crisis Standards of Care in North Idaho. In this Dec. 7, 2020, file photo, staff talk about a patient being treated in the intensive care unit for COVID-19 at Idaho Falls Community Hospital.

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In North Idaho, patients should expect longer wait times and care in makeshift rooms as hospitals, which are stretched thin treating hordes of COVId-19 patients, struggle to provide routine levels of care, writes Post Register reporter Kyle Pfannenstiel. And the rest of the state is not far from declaring a formal resources crisis,  one top official said.

"The best method we have to prevent Crisis Standards of Care in the rest of the state and get out of Crisis Standards of Care in North Idaho is the individual actions of the people of Idaho," said Dave Jeppesen, director of the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare. 

Idaho Public Health Administrator Elke Shaw-Tulloch said people in Idaho should "be careful  and avoid" activities that could result in them needing the emergency room, avoid using the ER for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing, get vaccinated against COVID-19, and wear a mask indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.

You can read Pfannenstiel's full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or look for it in today's Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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