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Idaho rations health care statewide as COVID surge continues

Idaho rations health care

Idaho 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 or, in dire cases, given pain relief and other palliative care as they die.

Thursday's move came a week after Idaho officials started allowing health care rationing at hospitals in northern parts of the state.



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