PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Gov. Kate Brown is deploying the National Guard to help with the COVID surge in Oregon hospitals.
She made the announcement on Friday, saying 1500 Guard members will be deployed to more than 20 hospitals across the state. The first 500 will begin deployment on Aug. 20.
Brown said she made the decision after a record number of Oregonians are hospitalized with the virus – 733. Of that, 185 of them are in ICU beds.
The Guard Members will “provide logistical support as materials handlers and equipment runners, as well as assisting with COVID-19 testing and other necessary services to support hospital operations,” according to a press release from Brown’s office.
“I cannot emphasize enough the seriousness of this crisis for all Oregonians, especially those needing emergency and intensive care,” Brown said in a statement. “When our hospitals are full with COVID-19 patients, there may not be room for someone needing care after a car crash, a heart attack, or other emergency situation.”