Rural Idaho EMS crews face challenges as hospitals fill with COVID-19 patients

  • Source: EMS1
  • Published: 11/20/2020 12:00 AM

The pace of the pandemic has been unrelenting for months, but the last few weeks have been the worst of all for the staff at Minidoka Memorial Hospital. In October, the hospital hit an all-time high of transfers. So many patients were arriving at the Rupert hospital in need of intensive care — Minidoka Memorial only has space for three COVID-19 patients, and doesn't have an ICU — that some were being transferred to other hospitals at the same time. The fallout of a "devastating" COVID-19 outbreak at the hospital's own assisted living facility flooded the hospital suddenly with seriously ill patients, and would eventually account for 27 coronavirus cases and five deaths as of Nov. 13, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. And on one day alone, seven hospital staff tested positive for COVID-19 before 10 a.m. — creating a grand total of 19 staff members out sick one day.


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