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Kootenai Health COVID patients lowest in more than 2 months

Staff Writer | November 2, 2021 1:07 AM

The number of coronavirus patients at Kootenai Health declined to 89 Monday, down from a record-high of 150 nearly four weeks ago. It was last this low in mid-August.

“We are pleased to see the drop in census of COVID-19 patients, and we are hopeful that these numbers will continue to decline,” Dr. Karen Cabell, Kootenai Health chief physician executive, said.

There were 33 COVID-19 patients requiring critical care and no pediatric patients. About 15% of its patients are “breakthrough” cases — those who have been vaccinated against the virus.

”The overall hospital census is still very high due to the backlog of surgical patients and other patients who have delayed health care needs during this COVID–19 surge,” Cabelll said. “Our staff continues to work tirelessly to meet the needs of every patient.”

The Panhandle Health District reported on Monday that the overall total deaths attributed to COVID-19 rose to 617. It was a little less than four weeks ago the number of COVID-19 deaths in the PHD reached the 500 mark. That means there has been an average of about 30 local deaths each week attributed to COVID-19, most due to the fast-spreading delta variant.

Most of the COVID-19 deaths in the PHD, 564, or 91%, were people over the age of 60. There have been 19 deaths of those under the age of 50 attributed to the coronavirus in the PHD. No one under the age 18 in Idaho has died of COVID-19.

Health officials continue to urge people to get vaccinated. While those who are vaccinated can still get and spread the coronavirus, it does lessen the effects of it and reduces hospitalizations.

In Kootenai County, 64,689 residents over the age of 12 have been fully vaccinated, which is 45% of the eligible population. In the PHD, 94,006, of the eligible population is fully vaccinated. At 44%, that’s the lowest of the state’s seven health districts.

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