St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, the regional hospital in Twin Falls, was forced to divert some patients away from the Intensive Care Unit to other facilities Tuesday night because a surge in patients being treated for COVID-19 illnesses had temporarily brought the hospital to full capacity.
As of late afternoon on Wednesday, Nov. 11, hospital was no longer diverting patients.
St. Luke’s Magic Valley was treating 75 COVID-positive inpatients Wednesday morning. The hospital has 224 beds for all types of patients.
Joy Prudek, public relations manager for St. Luke’s Wood River, said the figure of 75 COVID-positive patients today includes some classes of patients not included in all tallies of patient numbers, including patients in the Emergency Department.
Prudek said administrators at the Twin Falls hospital had to tell other health providers last night that they could not accept patients from other facilities. She said administrators of healthcare facilities in the region often inquire about capacity at other facilities as part of planning for and accommodating surges in the number of patients they are treating.
St. Luke’s hospitals in Boise and Nampa are also “getting pretty full,” Prudek said.
The number of COVID-19 patients does fluctuate throughout the day, St. Luke's Treasure Valley spokeswoman Anita Kisseé said on Twitter Wednesday, but she echoed Prudek's assessment of the network's capacity.
"Treasure Valley [St. Luke's] hospitals are helping support Magic Valley, but we're also very busy and nearing capacity, especially in our ICUs that are full of COVID-19 [positive] patients and others who still need intensive care," she said on Twitter.
As part determining capacity, hospitals typically have to consider staffing levels, not just the number of beds, healthcare officials have said.
Coronavirus cases are surging across the state. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the state had recorded 77,121 cases, with 1,693 new cases reported overnight, a single-day record.