Idaho rations health care statewide as COVID surge continues

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Idaho’s public health leaders have expanded health care rationing statewide amid a massive increase in the number of coronavirus patients requiring hospitalization. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare made the announcement Thursday morning.

St. Luke’s Health System, Idaho’s largest hospital network, asked state health leaders to allow crisis standards of care on Wednesday because the increase in COVID-19 patients has exhausted the state’s medical resources. Crisis standards of care means that scarce resources like ICU beds will be allotted to those patients most likely to survive.

Other patients will be treated with less effective methods and in dire cases given pain relief and other care as they die.