Initial deployment of 500 Guard members to hospitals statewide will begin August 20.
Governor Kate Brown announced she will be deploying up to 1,500 Oregon National Guard members to support frontline health care workers as Oregon hospitals face a surge of hospitalizations due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant.
Beginning August 20, an initial 500 Guard members will be deployed to hospitals around the state to 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. The Oregon National Guard is prepared to provide logistical support for more than 20 hospitals across the state.
“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 Kate Brown. “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.”
“I know this is not the summer many of us envisioned, with over 2.5 million Oregonians vaccinated against COVID-19. 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.”
While the Oregon National Guard also has members with health care, nursing, and medical training, many of those members are already hard at work for their civilian employers––Oregon hospitals and health care providers.