US Army medical team called in to support Kootenai Health amid COVID surge

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — A 20-person medical team from the U.S. Army is in Coeur d’Alene supporting Kootenai Health as they struggle to handle the most recent COVID-19 surge. 

Crisis standards of care were implemented in North Idaho on Tuesday due to staff shortages, lack of beds and an increase in COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization.  

The medical team was deployed to Kootenai Health as part of a request by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The request deployed 60 military medical personnel to three states — Idaho, Arkansas and Alabama — to support civilian healthcare workers treating COVID patients in local hospitals. 

The medical team deployed to Kootenai Health includes nurses, respiratory therapists and medical doctors. 

The aid comes a week after Governor Brad Little re-deployed the National Guard to support short-staffed medical facilities. 

The majority of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Idaho are occurring in unvaccinated people. Health leaders and Gov. Little are reiterating their call for Idahoans to choose to get vaccinated.

READ: ‘It’s not ideal care’: Idaho health officials describe dire situations that led them to implement crisis standards of care

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