Thursday, September 23, 2021
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COVID-19 count still climbing

by KAYE THORNBRUGH
Hagadone News Network | September 14, 2021 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — New numbers show the pandemic isn't easing its foot off the gas pedal locally.

The state reported 1,436 new COVID-19 cases Monday, with 339 in the Panhandle Health District.

Two more Idahoans died due to COVID-19 over the weekend, both in the Panhandle Health District.

Since the pandemic began, 259 Kootenai County residents have died due to COVID-19.

With the ongoing surge of COVID-19 patients, Kootenai Health continues to operate under crisis standards of care.

That means resources are stretched so thin patients can no longer expect the level of care they would receive under normal circumstances, whether they’ve been admitted due to COVID-19 or another reason.

Patients may receive care in places where they otherwise wouldn’t, such as the hospital classroom that has been converted into a care room.

Nurses may care for more patients than they would normally or monitor vital signs less frequently.

In extreme instances, hospital care teams may have to choose how to ration resources.

A team of 20 military medical personnel from the Department of Defense remains in place to support overwhelmed staff at Kootenai Health.

Since the beginning of the most recent surge, 97% of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 at Kootenai Health are unvaccinated.

Data from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare shows the overwhelming majority of people who are dying from COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

Idaho has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, with about half of residents over age 12 having received two doses.

Infections among vaccinated people, called breakthrough infections, are rare.

Vaccinated people who contract COVID-19 are likely to experience a much milder case than they would have without vaccination.

Kootenai Health has not admitted a single patient for adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine.