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Boise State Public Radio News is here to keep you current on the news surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Idaho Health Officials Raise Specter Of Field Hospitals National Guard Mobilization

Heath Druzin
Boise State Public Radio
Idaho health officials say the state could see field hospitals and a National Guard mobilization to shore up a teetering health care system is the state continues to see skyrocketing COVID-19 infections.

State health officials say Idaho could see field hospitals and National Guard call-ups if skyrocketing COVID-19 rates continue.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Administrator Elke Shaw-Tulloch warned of the potential drastic action to shore up a teetering health care system at the department’s quarterly meeting on Thursday.  

“We need to really be thinking about what that looks like for hospitals and health care settings that may need to move into crisis standard of care when we've completely tapped out our resource availability across the state,” she said.

Shaw-Tulloch said contact tracing has become almost impossible because of strapped resources and uncooperative residents.

People are over it,” she said. “They're being rude; they're not answering the phone; they just don't want to have to contend with this anymore.” 

Idaho is in the midst of one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the nation and keeps setting new records for daily infections. On Thursday the state saw another 1,158 new confirmed and probable infections. That’s nine out of the past 10 days over 1,100 new daily infections.

Despite that, Governor Brad Little has resisted growing calls for a statewide mask mandate. Steps like that have been shown to reduce transmission of the virus.

Follow Heath Druzin on Twitter, @HDruzin

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