In this photo, provided by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, the U.S. Army Capt. Corinne Brown, a critical care nurse, administers antiviral drugs to a Covid 19 positive patient at the Kottayam Health Regional Medical Center during retaliation in Queer D. Is. Alien, Idaho, September 6, 2021. As many as 11,000 children were preparing for their first day of school in Queer de Allen when Idaho Public Health officials announced this week that the northern hospital was overcrowded with corona virus patients and would be allowed to leave. Kotinai Health had to move some patients to a conference room for ration health care and had to enlist the help of the army to deal with the influx of Corona virus patients. (Michael H. Lehmann / DVDSUS Navy / via AP)
When Idaho Public Health officials announced this week that the North Hospital was so crowded with Corona virus patients that they would be allowed to receive rations of health care, about 11,000 children were packing lunch in Covar de Allen. , Boarding buses or carrying bags for their first day. School.
Very few of them – maybe 2 or 3, based on a district spokesman’s estimate – were wearing masks.
Coutinho Health, the center of the region’s COVID-19 healthcare crisis, is just 10 minutes from the headquarters of the Coeur d’Alene School District. It has 200 beds for medical or surgical patients, but on Wednesday – the second day of school – Kotinai Health doctors and nurses were caring for 218 medical and surgical patients, assisted by military doctors and nurses. ۔
On Thursday, the third day of school, the hospital reported a total of 109 patients with 19 patients, of whom 37 needed care. The hospital usually has only 26 intensive care unit beds.
Idaho, meanwhile, has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the United States, with a 44% increase in corona virus cases over the past two weeks as the highly contagious Delta variety burns in the population. It’s basically a math problem that adds to the potential catastrophe.
“We’re at risk of bringing in more patients,” Dr. Robert Skogins, chief of staff at Kotnai Health, told a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “There is no reduction in our school system at the moment, and I am worried about what is going to happen.
School expansion has been a problem in other states with much higher vaccination rates than in Idaho. More than 80 people at Kamiakin Middle School in Kirkland, Washington, were told this week to stay home until they were notified as they came in contact with two students who had a positive experience with Covid 19. More than 85 percent of eligible people in East Seattle have been fully vaccinated, according to local health officials.
In Oregon’s Lake Oswego School District, more than 40 students have been quarantined for coming across COVID-19 on a school bus. In Calicomas County, where the school is located, about 67 percent of adults have been fully vaccinated, according to state health officials.
In Coutinho County, including Coeur d’Alene, only 41% have been fully vaccinated. Yet, like the majority of school districts in northern Idaho, Coeur d’Alene does not need masks or other measures to prevent the spread of the corona virus.
Many in the ultra-conservative region have been vehemently opposed to the mask mandate since the onset of the epidemic. During a Coeur d’Alene school board meeting last month, some participants were holding signs, speaking or cheering. Three out of five school board members said they recommend wearing a mask as a personal preference.
“We are very concerned. I mean, we are already seeing the effects of the Delta variations.” It’s really going to make our community responsible for protecting each other and our healthcare facilities. We never wanted to reach the standard of crisis management, yet we are here.
During the surge last winter, the Panhandle Health District worked on contact tracing with schools. The Coeur d’Alene School District was particularly helpful for student-related matters, Hoyer said.
But this year, the backlog of the case has been disappointing after the Public Health District traced the traditional contact. The agency now conducts small investigations only for priority populations: health care providers, long-term care facility residents and workers, and students and school staff.
Scott Maben, a spokesman for the Queer de Allen School District, said the school system had also lost contact.
“We don’t have the resources to do that this year,” Maben said. “We are definitely relying on people to report to us.”
This can be a problem. Hoyer’s agency has infiltrated several families who refuse to say which school their COVID-19 positive child attends. During the last school year, Maben deliberately sent families with Cove 19 children to school and extracurricular activities.
The school district may send the child home for mandatory quarantine if it knows of a positive test for corona virus, but again, relies on families to provide information.
“We’re urging people not to be safe around others, but we also know that many families believe that many of these concerns are exaggerated and that their The children need to go to school. ” “It’s a constant frustration with us.”
Children are much less likely to become seriously ill with the corona virus than adults. About 188 children across the state are hospitalized with the virus, according to data from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Children, like adults, can easily transmit the virus to others, and in a state where only half of the population is fully vaccinated, the school house, said Dr. David Peterman, pediatrician and CEO of the primary school. Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during this time. Health group in southwestern Idaho.
“We have evidence around the world that when children go to school and do not need masks, the corona virus spreads to these children and the community,” said Peterman.
Most schools in the area where primary health care operates 21 emergency care and family medicine clinics began two or three weeks ago, and in many districts in the area, not everyone was required to wear a mask.
“We’re now regularly reporting two to three hundred new cases or more,” Peterman said, compared to about 10 new cases a week at his clinic in early July. “There is no question that it is agreed with the return of the children to school.
In southwestern Idaho, the state’s largest school district began classes a few weeks ago that required masks but parents were allowed to “opt out.” More than a third of West Ada School District’s 40,000 students dropped out.
On Wednesday, a famous high school history teacher in the school district died of COVID-19. In a scheduled meeting later that day, the West Ada School Board said the district would temporarily need a mask for everyone, even if they do not make a choice by at least September 24, the Idaho Statesman reported.
“As the largest organization in the Treasure Valley, as a state, we believe we have a responsibility to public health,” said Superintendent Derek Bibb. “Implementing the need for masks for students and staff is one way that Western Ada can make a positive contribution to the community.”
– Rebecca Bone, Associated Press