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Study shows Oregon has fewest number of hospital beds per capita in nation

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The study shows there are 1.6 hospital beds per 1,000 people. It’s a startling figure when COVID-19 cases are surging in Oregon.

Posted: Dec 4, 2020 12:55 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2020 12:57 PM

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -- Oregon has fewer hospital beds per capita than any other state in the U.S., according to a 2018 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. More recent data wasn't available.

The study shows there are 1.6 hospital beds per 1,000 people. It’s a startling figure when COVID-19 cases are surging in Oregon.

Becky Hultberg, the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, says what having a low number of hospital beds per capita really means is Oregon is efficiently using its hospital systems.

“It is interesting to note that Oregon does have a small number of hospital beds per capita compared to most other states. That’s a good thing until you’re in a pandemic,” Hultberg said.

Oregon, she says, efficiently uses its hospital systems by not building excess capacity.

“What we don’t want to do is overbuild and have a lot of expensive, acute care beds that just sit empty. Someone’s paying for those beds and, typically, that’s going to be your commercial insurance plans, Medicare, or Medicaid,” Hultberg said.

In the spring, one of the biggest issues facing hospitals was the lack of personal protective equipment.

Hospitals also made plans to expand beds into non-clinical areas like the state fairgrounds in Salem in March.

The most serious concern right now, Hultberg says, isn’t so much beds because the state does have surge plans in place. Additionally, hospitals are managing the capacity they do have much more carefully.

The issue now is staffing.

“Our staff are exhausted, some of them have gotten sick in the community and are not available for work, and so staff has become much more of a challenge,” Hultberg said.

From the Portland metro area to the north coast, 82% of the ICU beds are full right now. 293 beds are taken by patients.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 396501

Reported Deaths: 5268
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah61066850
Washington42631406
Marion40277517
Clackamas33256388
Lane30473363
Jackson25211363
Deschutes23984192
Umatilla15155184
Linn14966184
Douglas13608295
Josephine10357248
Yamhill9878145
Klamath9120152
Polk8347103
Benton622940
Malheur593592
Coos5806109
Columbia441156
Jefferson426066
Lincoln367952
Crook343958
Union341456
Wasco319646
Clatsop265435
Baker222533
Tillamook219846
Hood River217237
Morrow198425
Curry194239
Harney121733
Grant109116
Lake106318
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1161
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5127121

Reported Deaths: 74911
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153745027248
San Diego4104514351
Riverside3912955388
San Bernardino3784085998
Orange3367395771
Sacramento1699162460
Kern1588341838
Fresno1581872284
Santa Clara1536961933
Alameda1262241513
San Joaquin1084911837
Ventura1049251194
Contra Costa1046451058
Stanislaus922291434
Tulare869791102
San Francisco57458674
San Mateo56861631
Monterey52973626
Solano48014360
Santa Barbara47846555
Merced45506672
Sonoma43609414
Placer42736473
Imperial39148778
Kings35547369
San Luis Obispo31803360
Madera26511311
Shasta26353462
Butte25690320
Santa Cruz22540224
Yolo21792263
Marin18728249
El Dorado18544168
Sutter14691186
Napa13501107
Yuba1084791
Humboldt10360119
Tehama10329133
Nevada10187105
Mendocino873799
Lassen801259
San Benito793979
Tuolumne782691
Lake7073113
Amador583267
Siskiyou480757
Glenn460336
Calaveras449988
Del Norte380442
Colusa329821
Inyo259446
Plumas19679
Mono19274
Mariposa163318
Trinity102117
Modoc7956
Unassigned3820
Sierra2210
Alpine1080
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