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St. Luke's hospital in McCall defaced with swastikas

"It is very troubling, to say the least, to have such a hateful act occur on our campus."

MCCALL, Idaho — Editor's note: The original version of this story contained a photo of the sign that was vandalized. However, that photo has been removed in an effort to not bring more attention to these actions.

Police are investigating after someone spraypainted multiple swastikas outside of St. Luke's McCall Medical Center over the weekend. 

According to hospital spokeswoman Laura Crawford, the vandalism happened sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The swastikas were scrawled on three outdoor signs at the hospital in orange paint, she said.

"It is very troubling, to say the least, to have such a hateful act occur on our campus," Crawford said. 

She added that St. Luke's security team is working with local police, and an "active investigation" is underway. While the hospital does have security cameras around the entrance, the area where the signs are is not on camera.

The graffiti has been cleaned off the signs. Crawford said St. Luke's security officers have conducted a threat assessment, but have not identified any threats to the hospital. 

Crawford added that the vandalism was especially frustrating as St. Luke's staff work around the clock to deal with the surge of COVID-19 patients.

Crisis standards of care were expanded to the entire state Thursday, signaling that hospitals can no longer keep up with the demand for beds, ventilators, medical supplies, and other resources. Across the state, medical leaders say, nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff are becoming increasingly exhausted and demoralized as they fight to keep an ever-expanding pool of patients alive. 

"I think it is important at this time to support our healthcare workers and not have any extra stress and burden," Crawford said, adding that St. Luke's McCall's focus now is on battling COVID. "We would ask for the community's support on that." 

At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.

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