COVID-19 cases surge in Oregon as governor, health officials warn of hospital capacity concerns

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Governor Kate Brown and health officials are urging Oregonians to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 to avoid overwhelming hospitals as cases surge in Oregon.

Brown said in a press conference Tuesday that Oregon is headed down the wrong road.

While the state has plans in place to share beds and ventilators if necessary, Brown said that it needs to be a last resort.

“Our fears that this virus would spread out of control when the colder months set in are certainly becoming a frightening reality,” Brown said.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported 771 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the state to more than 51,000 cases since February.

OHA says the state went from less than 40,000 cases three weeks ago to now nearly 52,000.

Three new deaths were reported Tuesday as well, bringing the total number of deaths to 737 in Oregon.

Hospitals are seeing an increase in patients statewide with the surge in cases.

OHA says there are currently 285 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 positive tests.

OHA says there’s been a 57 percent increase in the last week in hospitalized patients who’ve tested positive for COVID-19.

OHA says hospitals are working together to address any capacity issues.

“Our regional approach to hospital preparedness and response remains the cornerstone for our planning. We work with our hospital partners across seven regions in Oregon to make sure that if one hospital is unable to meet demand, other regional hospitals and partners can step in to assist,” OHA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dana Hargunani said.

OHA says the state has more ventilator capacity than it did in the spring, with 762 ventilators available statewide.

Health officials in that press conference stressed the importance of wearing a mask and keeping a physical distance from others who are not in your household, as they say, they might be spreading the disease without knowing it.

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