TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-Crisis Standards of Care have been activated once again for much of southern Idaho, including the Magic Valley and Wood River Valley due to staffing and blood shortages. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reintroduced crisis standards of care (CSC) Monday for three public health districts: South Central District Health (Magic Valley), Southwest District Health, and Central District Health. "The high number of both clinical and non-clinical staff unable to work due to the impacts of COVID-19 infections coupled with a nation-wide staffing shortage limiting access to contracted traveling staff is impacting current hospital operations. It is also limiting the ability of hospitals to maintain capacity for things like intensive care beds due to inadequate staffing," said the agency. Under CSC people that go to the hospital may not find available hospital beds or they may be placed in a repurposed room not typically used for medical care, like a conference room. Equipment and supplies may be limited as well. Director Dave Jeppsen held a meeting with the CSC Activation Advisory Committee on Jan. 21, which recommended the entire state be placed under crisis standards of care. Director Jepsen decided to only place the southwestern portion of the state under CSC based on regional hospital capacity. Idaho Health and Welfare said it is possible other areas of the state could enter into CSC if COVID-19 infections continue to rise. “The highly contagious Omicron variant has thrown us a curve ball,” said DHW Director Jeppesen in a statement Monday. “Once again, the situation in our hospitals and health systems is dire – we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat patients. Please get vaccinated and boosted if you can and wear a high-quality protective mask in public places. Omicron is so much more contagious than previous variants, and even though a lower percentage of cases are ending up in the hospital, the record number of cases is still putting strain on our healthcare system.” Idaho Health and Welfare noted that it will be up to area hospitals one how the implement CSC according to their own policies and current situation.
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