'A frightening reality': Oregon prepares for strain on hospital beds this winter

Brown warned that it is up to the community to do their part in slowing the spread because hospitals could be put in a dangerous bind this winter.

Posted: Nov 10, 2020 6:37 PM

OREGON -- Gov. Kate Brown joined hospital leaders across Oregon for a press conference Tuesday to discuss concerns about hospital bed capacity amid increasing cases and hospitalizations.

“Our fears that this virus would spread out of control when the colder months set in are certainly becoming a frightening reality,” Brown said. “I've said this before, but from the outset, our goal has been to save lives and avoid overwhelming our health care systems.”

Of course, hospitals are not limited to dealing with COVID-19 cases but also the impact flu season could have, along with the countless others reasons why individuals need immediate care.

Some leaders shared they will have to balance patients between multiple facilities. Others said they could have to reduce elective surgeries or shut them down altogether if cases continue to rise.

“We cannot and should not be relying on the fact that our hospital systems can withstand a surge, but instead we should be working together to ensure they don't have to,” Brown said.

The State has been working with health care leaders in seven regions to develop plans for a possible surge.

Dr. Dana Hargunani is the Chief Medical Officer for the Oregon Health Authority.

“While COVID-19 has been larger and longer-lasting of an event than we could have ever anticipated, we found that our foundational learning and planning has helped us be ready in the early days when we first saw these cases,” Hargunani said.

Brown warned that it is up to the community to do their part in slowing the spread because hospitals could be put in a dangerous bind this winter.

As of Tuesday, there are 285 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 across Oregon.

This is a 57% increase in this past week since Nov. 3.

There are 762 ventilators available in the state.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 132412

Reported Deaths: 1799
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28237458
Washington18512171
Marion16085238
Clackamas11577138
Lane8219108
Jackson686284
Umatilla670968
Deschutes490736
Yamhill316245
Malheur312452
Linn310246
Klamath242238
Polk241340
Josephine170633
Jefferson168725
Benton168414
Douglas166643
Union110416
Wasco106323
Columbia103318
Lincoln98517
Hood River94821
Coos93315
Morrow92710
Clatsop6695
Crook60410
Baker5665
Tillamook3622
Curry3185
Lake2295
Grant2131
Harney1734
Wallowa963
Gilliam481
Sherman470
Wheeler201
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