PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Health and Science University will no longer be sponsoring the 2021 Portland Marathon.
OHSU made the decision to pull its sponsorship due to concerns over the current COVID-19 surge. In a statement, the hospital cited just how full its ICU wings have been this summer — and how exhausted staff has become fighting that influx of patients.
Although they will not be sponsoring the event, OHSU recognized participating in the marathon is a personal decision.
In a statement to KOIN 6 News, marathon organizers say they understand OHSU’s decision.
“The Portland Marathon recognizes the incredible work being done by OHSU in the continued battle against COVID-19. We understand and appreciate their decision to postpone their sponsorship of the race so that they can focus on the monumental task at hand,” the statement read. “The Portland Marathon will proceed as planned on October 3rd and will strictly adhere to all current health protocols enacted by local authorities. Additionally, all runners in this year’s race will be required to provide proof of vaccination or negative test results prior to being allowed to participate.”
OHSU’s decision comes as the hospital projects a peak number of coronavirus cases in Oregon. Health officials expect just over 1,200 people will be in the hospital for COVID-19 as of Labor Day. The most recent data from Friday showed there were 1,172 people hospitalized.
Experts say cases should remain around that level for a while before they decline.
For more information about the marathon, visit this website.