PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — If current protective measures fail to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the state of Oregon could need at least 1,000 more hospital beds by mid-April.
-That’s the reality that state health officials and OHSU experts say we could be living in if the virus isn’t stopped by mandates, precautions and intervening efforts like social distancing.
This worst-case scenario is based on models and projections of the spread of COVID-19 in other countries. Based on these statistics, OHSU Data Scientist Dr. Peter Graven said, “We expect the cases in Oregon to double every 6.2 days.”
By mid-April, health officials estimate Oregon would need an additional 1,000 acute care beds and another 400 ICU beds. Portland alone would need an additional 700 acute care beds and 300 ICU beds.
Health experts say these theoretical projections would require OHSU facilities to somehow double their available ICU beds within the next few weeks.
Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday ordered all hospitals and healthcare clinics — including veterinarians and dentists — to forgo all non-emergency procedures in an effort to preserve protective gear for doctors and nurses.
Brown’s order also limits hospital visitations.
Matthew Alzafiri is studying English at Concordia University. He took to the streets of Portland this week with a message for those who aren’t serious about the coronavirus. He says he wants to bring global awareness to the situation because there have been deaths in his home country of Kuwait.
“Wash your hands because some people forget or don’t care,” he said. “Please, guys, be careful, be careful, be careful.”