The Latest: National Guard helps at Idaho urgent-care clinic

National/World
Virus Outbreak Idaho Hospitals

Nickolas Orr of the Idaho National Guard checks in a patient for an outdoor COVID-19 test at Primary Heath Medical Group’s clinic in Boise, Idaho, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Troops direct people outside the urgent-care clinic revamped into a facility for coronavirus patients as infections and deaths surge in Idaho and nationwide. Some 1,000 people have died due to COVID-19, and infections this week surpassed 100,000. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)

BOISE, Idaho — National Guard troops are directing people outside a Boise urgent-care clinic revamped into a facility for coronavirus patients.

Health officials say Idaho’s attempt to hold the coronavirus in check is failing as infections and deaths surge. They’ve halted elective surgeries to save bed space.

Inside Primary Health Medical Group’s clinic, physician assistant Nicole Thomas works extra 12-hour shifts. She dons protective gear to examine 36 patients a day with symptoms. Some days, she says, half test positive for coronavirus.

In a state where many citizens are resisting pandemic restrictions, overworked staff are getting sick or quitting to avoid the stress. It takes at least two days to get an appointment for a test. Primary Health officials say they’ll turn three more facilities into COVID-19 clinics by Dec. 30.

More than 1,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Idaho. Confirmed infections have surpassed 100,000.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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