With the increase in coronavirus cases, Idaho hospitals are so overburdened that doctors and nurses are contacting dozens of regional hospitals across the West in the hopes of finding somewhere to move individual critical patients. The situation has deteriorated to the point where the Idaho Department of Health and Wellness declared the entire state to be in a hospital resource crisis on Thursday, allowing medical facilities to ration care and triage patients.
Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has already transformed a conference room into an overflow Covid unit, increased the pay rate for visiting nurses, and brought in a military medical unit. Last Monday, the state gave the hospital authority to begin restricting care. All of this is in response to the Covid outbreak that has swept through most of Idaho in recent weeks, a state with one of the lowest immunization rates in the country.
Experts claimed that when it comes to medical treatment, the borders between states in the region were fuzzy prior to the pandemic. While many of the states are noted for their gorgeous beauty and vast open landscapes, access to necessary medical care in the small rural villages that dot the region can be challenging. Medical treatment may be more easily obtained across a border than within a state’s borders. However, as hospitals battle to maintain beds open for patients within their own state, those state lines have become more pronounced.