Idaho Health Districts

Image: Idaho Dept. of Health & Welfare

BOISE - With the exception of north Idaho, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has deactivated Crisis Standards of Care. "While the number of COVID-19 patients remains high and continues to stress healthcare systems, the surge is no longer exceeding the healthcare resources available except in north Idaho," says a Department of Health and Welfare statement.

Crisis standards of care remains in effect in the Panhandle Health District, which encompasses Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Benewah, and Shoshone counties.

For the rest of the state, healthcare systems are generally using contingency operations, which means they remain stressed with an unusually high number of patients. It will be some time before healthcare systems return to full normal operations. It also will take time for the healthcare systems to work through the many delayed surgeries and other medical treatments.

Health officials say the situation at each healthcare system remains fluid and variable. Healthcare systems are still experiencing a much higher than normal number of patients and will implement their plans to return to a usual standard of operations according to their own policies, say officials. In addition, the state will continue to provide resources including healthcare personnel via FEMA and existing federal contracts until the situation further stabilizes.

Idaho officials say since entering Crisis Standards of Care, the situation across the state has been monitored daily. The process to deactivate crisis standards of care began when healthcare systems started individually reporting that they had moved to contingency operations instead of operating under crisis conditions.

DHW Director Jeppesen convened the Crisis Standards of Care Activation Advisory Committee on Nov. 19, 2021, to review the situation at healthcare facilities across the state. The committee determined that, except for the Panhandle Health District, healthcare systems had moved back to contingency operations and following robust evaluation processes, several had recently determined they were able to exit operating under CSC. Those healthcare facilities emphasized that while they were able to exit CSC, their operations remained stressed since patient volumes remain high. The committee recommended to the director that crisis standards of care be deactivated in all regions except for the Panhandle Health District, where case numbers and hospitalizations remain much higher than normal. Director Jeppesen issued his decision Monda morning, Nov. 22, 2021.