Regional News

OHA, Hospitals Urge Masking Indoors

PORTLAND, OR -- RSV-related hospitalizations appear to have peaked in Oregon, but hospitals say they are still at or near capacity. While RSV primarily impacts young children and infants, hospital beds are filling with adult patients sick with other respiratory illnesses. Influenza cases doubled in Oregon for five consecutive weeks, and elderly hospitalizations have risen 10-fold since late October, according to Deputy State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger. "The combination of surging flu, RSV and COVID-19 cases is pushing hospitals past their current ICU bed capacity," Dr. Sidelinger told reporters Thursday, "Which never happened during the darkest days of our COVID-19 pandemic in Oregon."

Dr. Ray Moreno, with Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, says it’s not just ICUs, "We are experiencing very, very long wait times for the less urgent cases in our Emergency Department, as we prioritize seeing these people by the level of urgency that their complaint requires. EDs are very crowded right now."
According to the OHA, RSV-related hospitalizations peaked the week ending November 19th. Dr. Wendy Hasson, with Randall Children's Hospital, says a high number of kids still need specialized care. "And so we do ask for grace from the public as we may not be able to offer the amenities that they’re used to, such as private rooms. So, your child may have to share a room, your child might have to be seen in the hallway. But the most important thing is that your child receives the medical care that they need, when they need it."

The Oregon Health Authority is again asking people to voluntarily mask up indoors, especially if it’s crowded, or avoid crowded gatherings all together. 


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