Idaho COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to hit all-time highs

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – Hospitals in Idaho are continuing to operate under Crisis Standards of Care as hospitalizations are at an all-time high for the state.

In this wave, compared to the December surge, it’s exceeded hospitalizations with more than 200 people. More people are in ICUs and on ventilators now than ever before.

092121 Idaho Hospitalizations Full

Recently, Washington Governor Jay Inslee was critical of Idaho’s governor about what’s going on. Inslee called attention to the fact Idaho doesn’t have a mask or vaccine mandate in place.

Inslee went on MSNBC and said in part, “We are calling for Idaho and the leaders there to lead and take some common-sense measures. I’m disappointed the governor of Idaho has spent more time trying to reduce protection by reducing vaccine usage instead of concentrating on this, and then clogging up my hospitals.”

Inslee also added that it wasn’t just Idaho, but other states on the “other party” are not helping.

Days later, Idaho Governor Brad Little retaliated to what Inslee said. He sent a statement saying:

“Governor Inslee blames Idaho, yet Spokane County and the surrounding area on his side of the border continue to be hot spots for virus activity with the lowest vaccination rates in the entire State of Washington, despite Governor Inslee issuing vaccine mandates and mask mandates.”

Currently, Spokane County is at 46.8 percent of people fully vaccinated. In the north Idaho panhandle, 41 percent of people are fully vaccinated.

These vaccination rates are not where either state health leaders want them to be. They continue to urge people to get vaccinated to help limit the spread of COVID and to reduce hospitalizations.

More people are in Kootenai Health’s ICU beds than ever during the pandemic. There are 43 people being treated in the ICU as of Tuesday. Pre-pandemic, the hospital had only 26 ICU beds.

“Bottom line, our inpatient facilities are progressively becoming COVID hospitals and that’s the same story for the rest of the state,” said Dr. Jim Souza, with St. Luke’s Health System.

Idaho has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

RELATED: ‘We’re human, and we’re getting tired’: Rural Idaho hospitals strained as state moves to crisis standards of care

Doctors in rural hospitals told 4 News Now some people still didn’t take COVID-19 seriously even when a family member is on the deathbed.

“For the people who say, ‘We all die sometime.’ Yes, we do. But, these people didn’t need to die now and they didn’t need to die like this,” Souza said.

Health leaders continue to ask people to get vaccinated and not to listen to misinformation.

“When the people who are being misinformed get this infection, and they take the false treatments offered by these doctors and then they get really sick, who do they come to? They don’t go to them. They come to us because they know that regardless of their beliefs or their actions, we’re going to do our very best to care of them and try to save them,” Souza said.

RELATED: The entire state of Idaho is now under crisis standards of care

READ: A Coeur d’Alene man’s mom and sister were both hospitalized with COVID. Only his mom will make it out