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Politics & Government

Boise Committee Weighs Permit Approvals Amid Hospital Crisis

A large crowd of people wave rainbow flags while marching down a city street during a Pride parade in Boise.
Boise Pride Fest
People march through downtown Boise to celebrate Pride Month in this undated file photo.

Some large events in Boise are still waiting for permits as parts of Idaho are moving into crisis standards of care and hospitals are overwhelmed.

City officials will meet Wednesday morning to consider special event permits for popular mainstays. That includes Art in the Park and Boise Pride Fest – both of which are scheduled to start on Friday.

Dr. David Pate, a member of the governor’s coronavirus task force, warned against these types of events in a recent interview with Boise State Public Radio.

“Just for a matter of weeks, could we all please be careful,” Pate said. “Let’s not have large gatherings, let’s wear our masks out in public."

State officials approved crisis standards of care for 10 healthcare systems in north Idaho Monday. Other hospitals are also significantly strained.

On Aug. 31, the state set a new record hospitalizations with 548. The previous record dates back to Dec. 1, 2020 with 496.

Aug. 31 also set a new record for ICU admissions with 173, which have been rapidly increasing since late July.

As of Sept. 6, the latest data available, just 11 adult ICU beds were open in Idaho.

A Boise city spokesperson declined to make anyone available from the Special Events Team to interview for this story.

All community events held on public ground that expect more than 1,000 people to attend must get a special event permit from the city. Organizers must submit emergency plans and outline how they'll handle medical emergencies, among other requirements, to be issued a permit.

Boise Pride said it will require attendees to be vaccinated or test negative for the coronavirus. The organization will also offer free rapid testing in both downtown Boise and Meridian.

A spokesperson for the Boise Art Museum, which runs Art in the Park, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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