PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday morning the Oregon National Guard would finally be demobilizing after helping local hospitals with the influx of COVID-19 patients during the past year.
More than 1,500 guard members worked in dozens of hospitals and care facilities across the state during the COVID surge in August – the highest time in the pandemic when hospitals struggled with staffing to handle all the COVID patients.
Soldiers and airmen and women members are credited with stepping in and many learning on the job how to do health checks, transporting patients, even helping with bedside care – not knowing how long they would be assisting.
Staffing levels at many care locations where they worked are better – hospitals have been able to hire healthcare staff, and the hospitalizations from COVID have decreased in Oregon as more people are fully vaccinated and masking rules are back in place.
On Monday, the governor thanked the National Guard at Camp Withycomb in Clackamas County for their service.
“These past two years have shown the resiliency and dedication of our Oregon National Guard members, their families, and their employers,” Brown said. “When Delta surged, the National Guard stepped up, and went into our hospitals and our long-term care facilities when they needed help. And this was after door-to-door winter storm support, wildland firefighting, and deployments both overseas and domestic,” Gov. Brown said.
Guard members spent more than 400,000 man-hours helping hospitals.