BOISE, Idaho — For the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic, Idaho health officials announced Tuesday they have activated crisis standards of care for two health districts — an indication that patients can’t expect the same treatment they would get in normal times.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced Tuesday in a news release that the Panhandle Health District and the Idaho North Central District entered into crisis standards because of “a massive increase in patients with COVID-19 who require hospitalization.”
Crisis standards of care are guidelines that hospitals and health care systems follow in order to decide how best to treat patients in a disaster or emergency. These standards are implemented when there aren’t enough health care resources to maintain typical health care standards. Idaho hospitals were close to implementing crisis standards last fall, but were able to avoid it.