The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Idaho hospitals crushed by COVID-19 surge

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The intensive care rooms at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center are full, each a blinking jungle of tubes, wires and mechanical breathing machines. The patients nestled inside are a lot alike: All unvaccinat­ed, mostly middle-aged or younger, reliant on life support and locked in a silent struggle against COVID-19.

But watch for a moment, and glimpses of who they were before the coronaviru­s become clear.

Artfully inked tattoos cover the tanned forearm of a man in his 30s. An expectant mother’s slightly swollen belly is briefly revealed as a nurse adjusts her position. The young woman is five months pregnant and hooked to a breathing machine.

Down the hall, another pregnant woman, just 24 and on a ventilator, is lying prone — on top of her developing fetus - to get more air into her ravaged lungs.

Idaho hit a grim COVID-19 trifecta this week, reaching record numbers of emergency room visits, hospitaliz­ations and ICU patients. Medical experts say the deeply conservati­ve state will likely see 30,000 new infections a week by mid-September.

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