The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) expands Crisis Standards of Care statewide

Press Release – For Immediate Release September 16, 2021

  • The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) expands Crisis Standards of Care statewide
  • Teton Valley Health Resources Update

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) expands Crisis Standards of Care statewide

As of today, September 16, 2021, IDHW has expanded the Crisis Standard of Care (CSC) statewide in accordance with IDAPA 16.02.09- Crisis Standards of Care for Healthcare Entities. DHW reported this morning that, “CSC is activated statewide because the massive increase of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization in all areas of the state has exhausted existing resources.” This action will remain in place until it is formally cancelled.

Last week, Kootenai Health requested activation of CSC leading to the activation for Public Health regions 1 and 2. Yesterday St. Luke’s Health System requested the activation of CSC. With the request from St. Luke’s, DHW Director Jeppesen convened the CSC Activation Advisory Committee and the committee recommended that CSC be activated statewide.

DHW reported, “Our hospitals and healthcare systems need our help. The best way to end Crisis Standards of Care is for more people to get vaccinated. It dramatically reduces your chances of having to go to the hospital if you do get sick from COVID-19. In addition, please wear a mask indoors in public and outdoors when it’s crowded to help slow the spread”, said DHW Director Jeppesen. “The situation is dire – we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for COVID-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident.”

Larger East Idaho regional hospitals, (EIRMC, Community, Madison, Bingham, and Portneuf) are at or near capacity consistently. Critical Access Hospitals vary in capacity levels. Teton Valley Health (TVH) currently has six patients. Statewide, Emergency Room wait times are lengthening as volumes increase and patients are “boarded” in Emergency Rooms pending bed availability. Staffing remains the primary constraint in our region and throughout the state. This is a fluid situation that changes hourly.

Locally, TVH has experienced delays in transporting patients that need higher levels of care due to the unavailability of beds in regional hospitals. Currently, TVH is training administrative staff to assist in relieving clinical staff of “non-clinical” duties in order to assist with staffing issues should the need arise.

TVH has capacity for patients and has accepted patients from elsewhere. Clinics are open, outpatient treatments and surgeries are ongoing. TVH will continue these services for as long as possible.

To help reduce further spread of COVID-19 and the continued stress on the state’s healthcare system, Teton Valley Health CEO, Keith Gnagey expressed, “Please get vaccinated — the vaccine remains our best way to fight the pandemic. In addition, we urge our community to wear a mask, social distance when indoors or outdoors in crowded places, and practice good hygiene.”

If patient loads increase, there may be a need to reduce or eliminate certain functions such as COVID testing, non-emergent surgeries, and certain outpatient procedures. If that happens the public will be notified as soon as possible.

At home COVID PCR tests are currently available at TVH clinics, at Eastern Idaho Public Health’s (EIPH) office in Driggs (please call ahead to request a test at EIPH), and by calling 211.

TVH Resources Update
TVH has Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and they are available in the Driggs Clinic on a walk-in basis. Booster vaccines have not yet been approved. A decision will be made on boosters at the earliest on next Wednesday, September 22, 2021. TVH has adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Surgical masks are also available to give away to businesses and the members of the public. Please contact 208-354-6317 x186 to arrange for pick up. With flu season quickly approaching, TVH has flu vaccines at the Driggs, Victor, and Cache Clinics. Walk-ins are welcome anytime during business hours. No appointment is needed.

All agencies appreciate everyone’s cooperation as we work together to get through the current surge in cases. New information will be published as soon as it is available. For all COVID-19 information, please visit:

Thank you for doing your part to protect our community. Teton Valley Strong!