Health

Becky Hultberg

Hospitals head toward ‘breaking point’ with Covid-19 patients, association chief says

BY: - January 20, 2022

The leader of Oregon’s hospital association warned on Thursday that a steady increase in Covid patients needing hospital care is pushing the state’s hospitals to a “breaking point.” Becky Hultberg, president and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, said during an online news conference that hospitals are treating dozens of new […]

psilocybin mushrooms

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer joins other lawmakers in pressing DEA to allow terminally ill to use psilocybin

BY: - January 20, 2022

A bipartisan group of six U.S. lawmakers, including one from Oregon, have called on the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to allow terminal patients to use psilocybin to ease anxieties or depression. U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Portland, a longtime advocate of decriminalizing drugs, spearheaded the letter sent this week to the agency’s administrator, Anne […]

Republican lawmakers rally opposition to Oregon’s indoor masking requirement

BY: - January 20, 2022

At least two Republican lawmakers oppose a move by the Oregon Health Authority to make a temporary indoor mask mandate permanent. State Reps. Kim Wallen, R-Medford, and Jessica George, R-Keizer, each issued statements this week calling on Oregonians to voice their concern about a permanent rule. The temporary rule requiring masks to be worn indoors […]

Abbott BinaxNOW

Want a free Covid-19 test delivered? Households can sign up now

BY: - January 18, 2022

UPDATED: Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022 at 2:46 p.m. The Biden administration’s effort to distribute free Covid-19 tests nationwide was supposed to start Wednesday. Instead, the government quietly began taking orders on Tuesday. The administration said that every very household can obtain four free rapid antigen tests by going to CovidTests.gov and clicking through to a […]

Cropped hand wearing a nitrile glove holding a Covid-19 vaccine vial and a syringe.

Oregon’s workplace safety officials will not pursue a vaccine mandate for large companies

BY: - January 14, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling against a federal mandate on vaccines and testing for large companies means that the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Division will not pursue a similar measure in Oregon. Following Thursday’s decision, the state agency said it would “not move forward with adopting the same or similar standard in Oregon.” The […]

New recommendations limit contact tracing in schools to exposure in cafeterias, band, sports

BY: - January 14, 2022

New guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education could end contract tracing when a student tests positive and was in close proximity to other students as long as all were wearing masks.  In an email sent Friday, the director of the state Education Department, Colt Gill, advised schools that they […]

Nurses and staff at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland

State will add nearly 2,000 new contract professionals to ease overburdened hospitals

BY: and - January 13, 2022

Oregon officials are working to discharge hundreds of hospital patients who have been languishing and taking up critically-needed beds because the care they need in the community isn’t available. The move is expected to free up hospital beds for the still-growing influx of Oregonians so ill with coronavirus they need hospitalization. State officials said Thursday […]

Oregon's new website for Covid-19 questions

Oregon Health Authority creates new hotline, website for Covid-19 patients

BY: - January 13, 2022

With cases of omicron skyrocketing, the Oregon Health Authority is taking a new approach to tracking new Covid-19 infections.  Investigators are no longer trying to call those who test positive for the coronavirus. State and county health departments have been using such calls to trace exposures and provide quarantine information. Now, it’s created a website […]

Oregon deploying 1,200 National Guard to help overwhelmed hospitals

BY: - January 12, 2022

In less than a week, Gov. Kate Brown has more than doubled the number of Oregon National Guard members being deployed to Oregon hospitals. “Our hospitals are under extreme pressure,” Brown said in a tweet on Wednesday. “Fueled by the omicron variant, current hospitalizations are over 700 and daily Covid-19 case counts are alarmingly high.” […]

An ambulance outside Oregon Health & Science University's emergency department.

State issued guidelines on rationing care, but hospitals have their own standards

BY: - January 11, 2022

Oregon hospitals and health care specialists are shoring up resources and adopting surge plans in preparation for an overload of Covid-19 patients. But that may not be enough to ensure everyone is treated if hospitals become overwhelmed. On Friday, the Oregon Health Authority released guidelines to help hospital systems ration care if they run short […]

Some Oregon school districts pause, ignore, or lack supplies for test-to-stay protocol

BY: - January 10, 2022

Testing meant to detect unvaccinated students exposed to Covid-19 in schools is hitting supply and staffing challenges, according to school district leaders.  As Covid-19 cases declined in November, the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Education Department announced a new protocol to keep more students in the classroom. Under the program, unvaccinated students who are […]

an emergency room at OHSU

Oregon reaches dire stage in pandemic as state issues guidelines for rationing care

BY: and - January 7, 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic in Oregon has reached a dire stage, with the Oregon Health Authority advising hospitals how to ration care when they run out of beds, and officials warning the public that widespread infections will disrupt everyone’s life. During a news conference on Friday, Dr. Dean Sidelinger, Oregon’s state epidemiologist, said the highly infectious […]