Idaho hospital halts admissions amid COVID-19 surge

St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls, Idaho, said it temporarily stopped taking patients the last two weekends for about 12 hours as COVID-19 hospitalizations increased.

Michelle Bartlome, public relations manager for St. Luke’s Magic Valley, attributed the move to high patient volume and staffing challenges.

“The hospital is toeing the line each day between whether we can handle more patients admitted to the hospital — or go on divert — which means the hospital isn’t able to accept transfers from other hospitals or sometimes, patients that present at our hospital are not able to be admitted as an inpatient and must be transferred to another facility outside the community that has capacity,” she told Becker’s via email.

Ms. Bartlome said the hospital’s staffing and capacity is being strained daily, and it is executing its surge plan to manage the increases in patients.

Overall, St. Luke’s Magic Valley reported it has been averaging more than 50 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the last few weeks, compared to averaging in the low teens all through September.

Ms. Bartlome said St. Luke’s Magic Valley also paused elective surgical and cardiac procedures that result in hospital admissions and began transferring pediatric admissions to other facilities to address staffing and capacity issues. She said hospital staff has worked longer hours more often, and the hospital is hiring more temporary workers.


More articles on patient flow:
UnityPoint Meriter restricting some overnight surgeries amid COVID-19 surge
Sanford Health rescheduling nonemergency procedures
Next week could bring dire COVID-19 hospitalization records


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