Idaho hospital says crush of COVID patients getting worse

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — The Northern Idaho hospital that was the first in the state to institute health care rationing due to surging COVID-19 cases says the situation is growing worse. Kootenai Health reported a record 150 coronavirus inpatients on Wednesday, with 43 requiring critical care, 17 on ventilators, and two patients under the age of 18. Panhandle Health District reported 202 new COVID-19 cases and the death toll attributed to the virus is 499. Kootenai Health Clinical Services Director Debbie Callins said Wednesday “the numbers are going up and the staff are tired.” Callins said the rising patient numbers have strained resources and affected the staff’s ability to care for patients.