Source: https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavir...vid-surge.html

Idaho hospitals begin rationing health care amid COVID surge
Updated: 11:13 a.m. | Published: 11:13 a.m.
A person wearing medical protective gear adjust an IV bag

In this Aug. 31, 2021, file photo, registered nurse Jack Kingsley attends to a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit at St. Luke's Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. Idaho public health leaders have activated "crisis standards of care" for the state's northern hospitals because there are more coronavirus patients than the institutions can handle. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare made the announcement Tuesday, Sept. 7.AP Photo/Kyle Green, File
By The Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho public health leaders announced Tuesday that they activated “crisis standards of care” allowing health care rationing for the state’s northern hospitals because there are more coronavirus patients than the institutions can handle.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare quietly enacted the move Monday and publicly announced it in a statement Tuesday morning — warning residents that they may not get the care they would normally expect if they need to be hospitalized.

The move came as the state’s confirmed coronavirus cases skyrocketed in recent weeks. Idaho has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the U.S.

The state health agency cited “a severe shortage of staffing and available beds in the northern area of the state caused by a massive increase in patients with COVID-19 who require hospitalization.”

The designation includes 10 hospitals and healthcare systems in the Idaho panhandle and in north-central Idaho. The agency said its goal is to extend care to as many patients as possible and to save as many lives as possible.

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...