Watch this Q&A, recorded live on Dec. 17, with Dr. Christine Hahn, Dr. David Pate and Dr. Christopher Ball as they answered questions about the coronavirus omicron and delta variants.
Learn more about COVID-19 in Idaho and our nation on our COVID content page.
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More than a year and a half into the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 cases fueled by the delta variant of the virus still are causing hospitalizations and loss of life in our state. Only weeks out from a major crisis at state hospitals, health officials are seeing signs of another plateau in new daily cases. Now, as delta continues its march through Idaho, and as the threat of a new variant — omicron — looms, we at the Idaho Statesman felt it was time to convene for another live, virtual event to answer your questions.
For the occasion, we called on three of the state’s top medical experts — Dr. Christine Hahn, Dr. David Pate and Dr. Christopher Ball — to bring us up to date and help us understand where we are in the fight against the coronavirus.
Dr. Christine Hahn is Idaho’s state epidemiologist and the Division of Public Health’s medical director. She is board certified in infectious disease and works in the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho’s tuberculosis clinic twice monthly. She also serves on the Center for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and since February 2020, has been focusing almost solely on our state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. David Pate led Idaho’s largest medical system St. Luke’s for a decade and retired in 2020. He is a member of the Governor’s Coronavirus Working Group and recently co-authored a book, “Preparing for the Next Pandemic: Lessons, Stories and Recommendations,” (Johns Hopkins University Press), with Idaho Dr. Ted Epperly, who served on the Central District Health Board for 15 years.
Dr. Christopher Ball is the laboratory bureau chief for the Division of Public Health, Bureau of Laboratories, where he serves as the laboratory director and clinical consultant. Dr. Ball is certified in molecular diagnostics by the American Board of Bioanalysis and serves as co-chair of the Governor’s Coronavirus Testing Task Force.
Dr. Christine Hahn, State epidemiologist, Public Health Medical Director.
Dr. David Pate, retired CEO of St. Luke’s Health Care System, author.
Dr. Christopher Ball, the laboratory bureau chief for the Division of Public Health, Bureau of Laboratories
Ian Stevenson, Idaho Statesman public health reporter and panel moderator.