Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) on Friday, August 13, announced that hospitals in the state would have up to 1,500 National Guardsmen deployed to aid with the new COVID-19 caseload.
According to Brown, in the morning of Friday, the state had recorded 733 hospitalized Oregonians due to severe illnesses caused by COVID (CCP virus), including 185 patients admitted to the ICU.
“I cannot emphasize enough the seriousness of this situation, especially those who might need emergency or intensive care,” said Brown in a Tweet. “There may not be a room for someone needing care after a car crash, a heart attack, or other emergency situations.”
The governor added that 500 Oregon National Guard men would be sent immediately to 20 hospitals in Oregon, with up to 1,500 more in the coming days or weeks.
Brown did not forget to recommend more citizens get vaccinated and wear masks when in public settings for their own protection. Oregon has had 57.92% of the resident population fully vaccinated.
“If you have been waiting to get vaccinated, go do it today. Vaccines are safe, effective, and widely available. And when you go out in public, wear a mask. Masks are a simple and effective way for all of us to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” Brown said.
Data from Johns Hopkins University revealed that as of August 13, Oregon had a 7-day average of 2,090 new cases, which was a record high since the CCP virus arrived in the state and a more than doubled figure compared to the beginning of this month.
Meanwhile, the rates of hospitalization and ICU due to the CCP virus remained much lower than those of other illnesses, which was four times lesser. But ICU beds to serve COVID-19 patients had reached half of the other patients.
Hospital capacity in Oregon had reached 74%, with ICU beds amounted to 73%. That rate compared with COVID-19 hotspots such as Florida and Texas was still fairly lesser. The proportions were 86% and 91% in Florida, and in Texas, 79% and 93%.
“The harsh, and frustrating reality is that the delta variant has changed everything,” Brown said. “Delta is highly contagious, and we must take action.”
The governor also asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance and financing to deal with the increase in cases.
“The stress on Oregon hospitals right now is truly unprecedented. Our resources are stretched woefully thin at the same time we are seeing a frightening rise in COVID cases,” said Joe Sluka, president and CEO of St. Charles Health System, KTVZ reported. “We are grateful for the Guard’s help.”
St. Charles is expecting 150 National Guard members on August 20, and 72 of them who do not have medical certifications will assist in “the hospital in other critical non-clinical roles,” according to the outlet.
Oregon’s mask mandate, regardless of vaccination status, took effect this Friday. The rule would apply to five years old and above but would also account for those over two years old in public transportation, Fox12 revealed.