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More relief funds go to Idaho hospitals, urgent care centers

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BOISE (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little says $10 million in relief funds will be directed to Idaho hospitals, primary care provider, urgent care clinics and skilled nursing facilities because of the surge in COVID-19 patients.

Little announced the additional money on Tuesday, saying the funds will help ease the burden on hospitals and other health care providers.

The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus has been steadily increasing, with a record high of at least 717 patients reported statewide on Sept. 16. The number of COVID-19 patients in Idaho’s intensive care units has also been setting records, and the entire state entered “crisis standards of care” — a designation that allows hospitals to begin health care rationing as needed — earlier this month.

Nearly all of the new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been among unvaccinated residents, the governor’s office said in a press release. Idaho’s coronavirus vaccination rate remains one of lowest in the nation, with only about half of the eligible residents fully vaccinated, according to numbers from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

One out over 213 Idaho residents tested positive for COVID-19 within the past week, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, and the rolling average number of daily new coronavirus cases has increased by nearly 53% over the past two weeks.

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