Idaho deactivates crisis standards of care in northern Idaho, continues to monitor Omicron

DHW Communications

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) has deactivated Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) in the Panhandle Health District in accordance with IDAPA 16.02.09 – Crisis Standards of Care For Healthcare Entities. While the number of COVID-19 patients remains high and continues to stress healthcare systems, the surge is currently no longer exceeding the healthcare resources available.

“While this is good news for Idaho, we’re still watching the Omicron variant very closely because this is a precarious time,” said DHW Director Dave Jeppesen. “Omicron seems to spread more easily between people, and we all need to keep taking precautions against COVID-19 by getting vaccinated or getting a booster dose, wearing masks in crowded areas, physically distancing from others, washing our hands frequently, and staying home if we’re sick to avoid overwhelming our healthcare systems again.” 

Crisis standards of care was deactivated in the rest of the state on Nov. 22. However, healthcare systems statewide are generally using contingency operations. This means they remain stressed with an unusually high number of patients. It will be some time before healthcare systems return to full normal operations. It also will take time for the healthcare systems to work through the many delayed surgeries and other medical treatments. 

The situation at each healthcare system remains fluid and variable. Healthcare systems are still experiencing a much higher than normal number of patients and will implement their plans to return to a usual standard of operations according to their own policies. In addition, the state will continue to provide resources including healthcare personnel via FEMA and existing federal contracts until the situation further stabilizes.

Deactivation process

Since entering CSC in September, the situation across the state has been closely monitored. The process to deactivate crisis standards of care in the Panhandle Health District began when healthcare systems located there reported they had moved to contingency operations instead of operating under CSC conditions.

DHW Director Jeppesen convened the Crisis Standards of Care Activation Advisory Committee on Dec. 17, 2021, to review the situation at healthcare facilities in the Panhandle Health District. The committee determined that healthcare systems in the Panhandle Health District had moved back to contingency operations. The committee recommended to the director that crisis standards of care be deactivated in the Panhandle Health District. Director Jeppesen issued his decision this morning, on Dec. 20, 2021, under the authority vested in him through the temporary rule.

Learn more about crisis standards of care, including an FAQ and the official declaration of deactivation, at

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at 


Media contact: 

Niki Forbing-Orr

Public Information Manager