Idaho’s COVID numbers drop slightly, crisis standards remain

Nov 2, 2021, 4:34 AM | Updated: 4:43 pm
FILE - Dr. William Dittrich M.D. looks over a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (...

FILE - Dr. William Dittrich M.D. looks over a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at St. Luke's Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho, Aug. 31, 2021. The rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations and newly confirmed coronavirus cases has been dropping in Idaho, but the numbers are still high enough to leave hospitals overtaxed, Idaho Division of Public Health Administrator Elke Shaw-Tulloch said Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Kyle Green, File)

(AP Photo/Kyle Green, File)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations and newly confirmed coronavirus cases has been dropping in Idaho, but the numbers are still high enough to leave hospitals overtaxed, Idaho Division of Public Health Administrator Elke Shaw-Tulloch said Tuesday.

That means hospitals will remain under a “crisis standards of care” designation for now, giving them the ability to ration health care as needed to deal with high numbers of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units and hospital beds.

The state’s positivity rate of new cases is still more than double the 5% goal set by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Shaw-Tulloch said. More than 1,000 new cases were reported to the state on Monday, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. More than 3,570 Idaho residents have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

But for some parents, hope was on the horizon Tuesday as a CDC advisory committee unanimously voted to recommend that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine be approved for use in 5- to 11-year-old children. More than 23,000 child-size vaccine doses have already been shipped by the vaccine manufacturers to Idaho, said Sarah Leeds, manager of the Idaho Immunization Program, and more than 11,000 doses were delivered to the state on Tuesday.

If the CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, gives final approval to the kid-size doses as expected, Leeds said, health care providers in Idaho could begin putting shots in arms as soon as later this week or early next.

“This is a significant step forward in our ability to prevent COVID-19 illness in children,” Leeds said.

Roughly 55% of the eligible residents ages 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 so far, according to the state, but vaccination rates are much higher in older age groups and lower in younger age groups. About 33% of 12- to 17-year-olds are fully vaccinated in Idaho, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The number of new pediatric COVID-19 cases has also dropped since reaching a peak of about 1,700 new cases in one week in late September. Still, they remain high overall, with just under 1,000 new pediatric cases tallied during the last week of October. That’s close to the level of child COVID-19 cases the state saw during last winter’s surge.

While children generally experience milder coronavirus illness than older adults, they are not without risk, said Dr. Lisa Barker, a pediatrician.

“It’s really important to know that kids are not spared from the harm of COVID-19, although severe disease is less common in this age group,” Barker said.

In the U.S., there have been more than 8,300 hospitalizations of kids ages 5 to 11, about a third requiring intensive care, according to government data. At least 94 children have died nationwide, according to CDC data.

Some children develop a rare but serious inflammatory disease about four weeks after their COVID-19 infection, Barker said. Multisystem Inflammatory System in Children, also called MIS-C, causes inflammation in several organ systems, and can result in kids requiring hospitalization and even intensive care, Barker said.

One 6-year-old child she cared for had a very mild coronavirus case but came back to her office about a month later “with just sort of head-to-toe symptoms,” including a rash, prolonged fever, and evidence of inflamed internal organs, Barker said. The child required extensive hospitalization.

“It’s important to recognize that the viral illness itself is not the only danger to these little guys,” she said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The Amazon logo is pictured on Sept. 6, 2012, in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon filed a lawsuit on Mon...
Haleluya Hadero, Associated Press

Amazon sues Washington’s labor agency over alleged hazards

Amazon has sued Washington state’s labor agency following disputes with regulators over citations and fines imposed on the company for worker safety issues.
10 hours ago
FILE - A Tyson food product is seen in Montpelier, Vt., on Nov. 18, 2011. Tyson, one of the world's...
Associated Press

Tyson Foods consolidates corporate offices, leaves Chicago

Tyson Foods will relocate around 1,000 corporate positions from the Chicago area as well as South Dakota to its headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas. One of the world’s largest meat producers said Wednesday that corporate staff at its Chicago and Downers Grove, Illinois, locations and Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, office will begin relocating early next year. […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Lawyer: Wash. ruling in Black man’s case showed racial bias

SEATTLE (AP) — The attorney for a Black man serving a virtual life sentence for shootings he committed at 17 has asked the Washington Supreme Court to reconsider a split ruling that upheld his sentence, saying the leniency it granted white defendants in similar situations reveals racial bias. The court last month upheld the 61-year […]
1 day ago
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon capsule, with a multinational crew of four astronauts, lift...
Associated Press

Russian launches to space from US, 1st time in 20 years

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.. (AP) — For the first time in 20 years, a Russian cosmonaut rocketed from the U.S. on Wednesday, launching to the International Space Station alongside NASA and Japanese astronauts despite tensions over the war in Ukraine. Their SpaceX flight was delayed by Hurricane Ian, which ripped across the state last week. “I […]
1 day ago
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon capsule, with a multinational crew of four astronauts, lift...
Associated Press

Russian launches to space from US, 1st time in 20 years

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.. (AP) — For the first time in 20 years, a Russian cosmonaut rocketed from the U.S. on Wednesday, launching to the International Space Station alongside NASA and Japanese astronauts despite tensions over the war in Ukraine. Their SpaceX flight was delayed by Hurricane Ian, which ripped across the state last week. “I […]
1 day ago
This photo provided by the Nebraska National Forest & Grasslands Service shows distant flames Sunda...
Associated Press

Nebraska Sandhills wildfire more than half contained

HALSEY, Neb. (AP) — A destructive Nebraska Sandhills wildfire that saw one firefighter die while fighting the flames was more than half contained by Wednesday, officials said. The size of the Bovee Fire in west-central Nebraska was mapped Tuesday at nearly 19,000 acres, or about 30 square miles (78 square kilometers), up from the 15,000 […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Idaho’s COVID numbers drop slightly, crisis standards remain