Saint Als by Otto Kitsinger Idaho Capital Sun

Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise on March 21, 2021.

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The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Idaho has doubled this month, and they’re sicker; the number of ICU patients with COVID-19 nearly tripled, writes Idaho Capital Sun reporter Audrey Dutton. It is July 2021, and health care workers are exhausted. But now, they’re frustrated, too.

“I’m so annoyed. I’m … um … it’s hard to not be angry, you know?” said Dr. Meghan McInerney, ICU medical director at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. “Our job is to take care of whoever walks through the door. We pride ourselves on that as physicians and health care workers … no matter the poor decision they may have made in life.”

The patients in the ICU now are “relatively young,” McInerney said. Their lungs are so inflamed and full of fluid that they just stop working.

“Yesterday, I had a 37-year-old patient die of COVID,” she said. A couple weeks ago, they sent a patient in their 50s to get a lung transplant because COVID-19 had damaged their lungs beyond repair.

The ICU patients all have one thing in common, she said: “Every single one of them is unvaccinated.” You can read Dutton's full story here at idahocapitalsun.com.

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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