Gov. Brown deploys National Guard to Oregon hospitals amid surge

Coronavirus

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, August 13, 2021 (Office of the Governor)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday she will deploy up to 500 National Guard members to support overwhelmed hospitals amid a week that shattered records for new daily COVID-19 case counts in Oregon.

According to an Oregon Health Authority report from Thursday, hospitals across the state struggled to free up beds as Oregon hit a new record for COVID cases for a fourth consecutive day.

On Thursday, OHA reported only 7% of adult ICU beds (42 beds) were available in the state and there were 7, 615 new confirmed and presumptive COVID cases.

An initial round of 125 Guard members will arrive at hospitals beginning next week and work in non-clinical roles, according to the governor’s office. They will assist hospital staff in COVID testing, equipment running and distributing materials, Brown’s office said.

Brown released the following statement with the announcement:

“With more than 500 current hospitalizations and daily record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 cases, we are at another critical point in this pandemic — and the Oregon National Guard is stepping up again to assist. I would like to thank the employers of our Guard members — we cannot call upon these hardworking Guard members without your sacrifice and support as well. While Guard members work to support our frontline health care workers, I am asking all Oregonians to continue to do your part to help. Get vaccinated, get boosted, wear your masks, and stay home when you are sick,” Brown said.

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