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ID Governor Appeals To Unvaccinated, Says Surge May Lead To Health Care Delays

KTVB screenshot

Idaho Governor Brad Little says his state is sliding backward in its attempt to manage the coronavirus.

“There are signs already that we may be in trouble in the next few days and weeks if we don’t slow things down,” Little told reporters Thursday at Nampa High School.He says the numbers of Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all up. In each of those categories, he says, unvaccinated people are responsible for more than 98% of the cases.

“Since May 15, there’s been 10 times as many Covid cases, 13 times as many Covid hospitalizations, eight times as many Covid deaths among unvaccinated people, compared to vaccinated," he said. “Access to basic health care services is pinched for the rest of us in order to care for them. That means people with planned surgeries may have those surgeries delayed. People that suffer from a heart attack or stroke may find there’s no adequate bed available in their local hospital."

Little said health care facilities, such as Kootenai Health, which he mentioned, are again full and in danger of being overwhelmed. He didn’t threaten government action. He says he prefers to appeal to people’s basic sense of fairness.

“This impacts our workforce. We cannot afford to have such a large part of our workforce out sick all at once. Our workforce cannot afford to stay home because schools and daycares shut down due to outbreaks. This threatens Idaho’s phenomenal economic success," he said.

The governor says he’s sending $30 million of emergency aid allocated by the legislature to help school districts pay for testing and other Covid-related safety measures. He says he may also call in the National Guard to provide extra help for health care facilities.