Idaho’s COVID outlook is dire as cases continue to climb

In this photo provided by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, U.S. Army Capt. Corrine Brown, a critical care nurse, administers an anti-viral medication to a COVID-19 positive patient at Kootenai Health regional medical center during response operations in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, on Sept. 6, 2021. Roughly 11,000 kids in Coeur d'Alene were getting ready for their first day of school when Idaho public health officials announced this week that northern hospitals were so crowded with coronavirus patients that they would be allowed to ration health care. Kootenai Health has had to move some patients into a conference room and get help from the military to deal with the flood of coronavirus patients. (Michael H. Lehman/DVIDS U.S. Navy/via AP)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Health care workers are exhausted and angry. Some of Idaho’s coronavirus vaccines are expiring because they have sat unused for so long. And coronavirus case numbers and deaths continue to climb, putting the state among the worst in the nation for the rate of new COVID-19 diagnoses.

Idaho’s public health leaders painted a grim picture — again — during a weekly briefing on the pandemic Tuesday. Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppsen says the state continues to set record highs with 686 hospitalized COVID-19 patients as of Sept. 18.

He says those numbers are expected to continue to climb, and he urged residents to get vaccinated.

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