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COVID-19 patient fully recovers after 55-day stay at EIRMC


IDAHO FALLS — After a lengthy hospital stay, an Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center patient has recovered from COVID-19.

Alberto Salazar, a 54-year-old male from Jackson, Wyoming, was admitted on April 10 to the Intensive Care Unit. After 49 days in ICU, he was transferred to EIRMC’s Acute Inpatient Rehab unit for six more days of care.

On Thursday, he was discharged from the hospital.

Salazar has since tested negative for the virus several times, according to a news release.

EIRMC did not say if Salazar had to use a ventilator or if there were any underlying health conditions.

EIRMC spokeswoman Coleen Niemann said there are currently three positive COVID-19 patients in the hospital and six PUI cases at EIRMC. PUI stands for Persons Under Investigation. Those people are inpatients and awaiting their test results. All nine individuals are isolated in their own rooms in a separate part of the hospital.

Niemann said because of the safety precautions they are taking throughout the hospital, the general public does not need to put off getting the help they need due to fears of the virus.

Statewide and in eastern Idaho, the number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases is creeping up again.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported the number of confirmed and probable cases statewide has increased to 3,052 as of Thursday afternoon. Of those positive cases, about 77 percent have now lived at least 30 days since initial infection and are presumed recovered.

A case is considered probable if a person has not been tested, or a test is pending, and the person has all the symptoms of COVID-19, has come into direct contact with an infected person, and developed symptoms within the expected timeframe.

RELATED: COVID-19 numbers jump in eastern Idaho; about 77 percent of infected now presumed recovered statewide

Salazar’s experience was rare among COVID-19 patients, as most will recover at home with no problems. So far, only 255 people in the entire state have required hospitalization since mid-March.

The IDHW also reports 83 deaths have now been tied to COVID-19, as of Wednesday. Of that number, a test confirmed 63, and 20 are considered probable.

In eastern Idaho, the most recent death was a 65-year-old Pocatello man. He was the first COVID-19 death in eastern Idaho.

As of Thursday, the number of confirmed or probable cases in eastern Idaho has jumped to 185, according to Eastern Idaho Public Health and Southeast Idaho Public Health District. Of that number, 81 individuals are still symptomatic and are being monitored by the district. That’s up from 13 from last week.

About 100 eastern Idahoans have now recovered from the coronavirus as of Wednesday, according to both health districts.

For more COVID-19 news, click here.

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