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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Idaho: Top headlines and takeaways from this week

An increasing number of cases reported daily, record numbers of people hospitalized and in the ICU, and a misleading social media post about DNR orders in Idaho.

BOISE, Idaho — In the first week since the entire state of Idaho was expanded to crisis standards of care, healthcare officials have pleaded for more people to get vaccinated from COVID-19 while illustrating how Idaho hospitals don't have the resources to adequately treat all patients.

Idaho hospitals are seeing record numbers of patients being treated for COVID-19

As of Monday, there were 760 people admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. That is the highest number of patients reported hospitalized with the disease since the start of the pandemic.

202 people were reported in the ICU Monday, also the highest number since the start of the pandemic.

Idaho seeing increasing numbers for new daily COVID cases reported

There were 1,830 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases reported in Idaho on September 21, the highest number of new daily cases since December of 2020, before a vaccine was available. The average number of new daily cases has also reached levels not seen since late 2020.

See our interactive graphs and timelines tracking Idaho COVID-19 case trends on KTVB.COM.

COVID hospital patients will be 'terribly disabled' for months

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare held another COVID-19 media briefing Tuesday where healthcare leaders discussed firsthand the difference in the level of care that crisis standards of care brings to Idaho hospitals 

Dr. Jim Souza, chief physician executive at St. Luke's Health System in Boise, was on the call Tuesday. He said their facilities are progressively becoming "COVID hospitals."

Souza outlined five important differences they are seeing in COVID patients now as opposed to the ones they saw last December. First, they are much younger. The average age has gone from 72 to 58. There were 36 COVID patients in the ICU under 55 and 13 under the age of 40 as of Tuesday. Souza believes that's due to higher number of non-vaccinated patients in the younger population.

Third, patients are more sick, and more are on ventilators. Fourth, the length of stay in the ICU, if they survive, is longer. The average stay is around eight days. And finally, these patients are dying more frequently. The mortality rate among COVID patients in the ICU has climbed from 28% to 43%. 

He went on to say, for those who go to the ICU and survive, they will likely also be terribly disabled for months while they recover.

FDA backs Pfizer COVID-19 boosters for seniors, high-risk

In national news, the U.S. moved a step closer Wednesday to offering booster doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to senior citizens and others at high risk from the virus as the Food and Drug Administration signed off on the targeted use of the extra shots.

Caldwell city buildings to close to public amid COVID-19 surge

Caldwell's City Hall, the public library, and other city buildings are set to close to the public next week amid a rise in COVID-19 infections.  

RELATED: These Idaho schools have temporarily closed due to COVID-19

Do not resuscitate misinformation verification 

Hospitals in Idaho have not instituted an across-the-board practice to stop giving CPR to patients on the brink of death, officials say, despite an outline for crisis care standards that would allow that if the state's fight against COVID-19 grows more desperate. 

Misinformation shared on social media this week implied a medical order known as a "do not resuscitate" order, or DNR was already in effect. We verified that as false.

RELATED: Former COVID-19 vaccine skeptic changes outlook after virus kills his dad, nearly kills him

Facts not fear: More on coronavirus

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