ID Governor Says Hospitals Overwhelmed; Deploys Out-of-State Workers, Nat. Guard To Help

Aug 31, 2021

Idaho Governor Brad Little [shown here in January] says the state had only four ICU beds available Tuesday because of the Covid surge.
Credit Idaho Public TV screenshot

Idaho Governor Brad Little says the Gem State’s health care system is close to being overwhelmed because of the growing number of critically ill COVID patients. 

“On a daily call with hospitals this morning [Tuesday], we heard there are only four adult ICU beds available in the entire state, out of close to 400. Our hospitals have converted other spaces to be used as contingency ICU beds. Those are filling up too. Idaho hospitals are beyond constrained," he said.

Little announced he is directing 370 out-of-state health care workers and Idaho National Guard soldiers to help in hospitals.
 
“That is why we pursued and secured 200 additional medical and administrative personnel available to Idaho through a contract with the U.S. General Services Administration. We also requested and secured 20 additional clinic staff from the Department of Defense. The DOD medical response team will be deployed in north Idaho, where we are seeing the greatest need," he said.
 
Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday is caring for 97 patients with Covid, 35 of whom are in the critical care unit.
 
Little says he’s also reactivating the National Guard, asking for up to 150 people to help with logistical support activities at hospitals.
 
The governor says the state is close to declaring a crisis standards of care designation, which he says will give hospital officials the authority to decide who needs care the most.