The hospital went for months without admitting anyone to the hospital with COVID-19. Unfortunately, It is now spiking for us and up to 50% of our patients in the hospital are now here due to COVID. Approximately 95% of those who are hospitalized at CRMC are unvaccinated. Across all of Intermountain Healthcare of 24 hospitals, there have been 0 admissions due to someone getting the vaccine. Consistently, 95-98% of those who are sick enough to require hospitalization are unvaccinated.

The average age of those admitted to the hospital is much lower now – closer to 40 years old. In the first phase of the pandemic, it was older folks, but vaccinations rates exceed 75% among those 65 and older so they are more protected.

Having to limit surgeries again - At St. Luke’s, Intermountain and others, we are back to having to evaluate elective surgeries that require admission to the hospital so we have enough room to care for those with COVID and other conditions. St. Luke’s has already started doing this. Cassia Regional Medical Center hasn’t done that yet, but we will have to begin evaluating this daily.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING AGAIN

The reasons really two-fold:

First, this delta variant is much more contagious and carries what medical folks call a higher “viral load” meaning there is a lot more virus to be carried and spread. The below diagram from Idaho Dept of Health illustrates how much more contagious the delta variant is than what we dealt with in the past. This is partly why there are “breakthrough cases” (someone getting COVID despite being vaccinated). The delta variant is so more contagious and far easier to spread. However, those who are vaccinated are still much more protected and less likely to get sick enough to require hospitalization.

Second, we have low vaccination rates. If we can get more vaccinations done, I believe we could put these darn masks away and fight this off for good.

We are seeing an increased interest in folks wanting the vaccine, especially among those 12 and older. If you are interested in getting vaccinated for COVID please call the hospital to find out when we will be holding another vaccination event.

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