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Coronavirus Watch: Gov. Brown deploys Oregon National Guard to help overwhelmed hospitals

With hospitals across the state struggling to handle the Delta variant surge, Governor Brown says that Guard members will be sent to help healthcare workers with logistical support.

Posted: Aug 13, 2021 3:00 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2021 5:33 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown announced Friday that she will deploy up to 1,500 members of the Oregon National Guard to support frontline healthcare workers working to handle the surge in hospitalizations caused by spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

“This morning I received the grim news that there are 733 Oregonians hospitalized with severe cases of COVID-19, including 185 in intensive care units,” said Governor Brown in a video message. “I cannot emphasize enough the seriousness of this crisis for all Oregonians, especially those needing emergency and intensive care. 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.”

Starting August 20, an initial 500 Guard members will be deployed to help as materials handlers and equipment runners for healthcare centers, as well as helping with COVID-19 testing and other support roles. More may be deployed as needed.


RELATED: Jackson and Josephine county hospitals sound the alarm: 'We're out of beds, our staff are stretched'


The Guard members will be tasked with providing logistical support for more than 20 hospitals across the state. While Brown's office acknowledged that there are members of the Oregon National Guard with healthcare, nursing, and medical backgrounds or training, many of them are already working for their civilian employers within the state's healthcare system.

Maj. Stephen Bomar, director of public affairs for the Oregon Military Department, said that southern Oregon should see an initial deployment of 250 Guard personnel, with more than 800 requested for the region. The precise details of where they'll be stationed is still being worked out.

“I know this is not the summer many of us envisioned, with over 2.5 million Oregonians vaccinated against COVID-19," Governor Brown continued. "The harsh, and frustrating reality is that the Delta variant has changed everything. Delta is highly contagious, and we must take action now.

“We will get through this the same way we have before: together. So please, if you have been waiting to get vaccinated, go do it today. Vaccines are safe, effective, and widely available. And, when you go out in public today, wear a mask. Masks are a simple and effective way for all of us to help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5105427

Reported Deaths: 74781
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153243027225
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
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Medford
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Brookings
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Air stagnation ends for the Basin today, big changes coming next week
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