Oregon is #2 in the country for Covid-19 infections. The state could be forced to demand Oregonians stay home until the worst is over…
Governor Brown is ramming it home. Oregonians MUST get vaccinated. No excuses. Until you get fully vaccinated, the virus will hunt down and probably infect any and everyone who is not vaccinated. In the meantime face masks will likely save your life. If you’re not fully vaccinated wear a mask, practice social distancing and stay away from crowded areas.
Here’s more of what Governor Brown covered in her address to the state today:
Governor Kate Brown held a press conference today to provide an update on the status of COVID-19 in Oregon, and to urge Oregonians to make a plan to get vaccinated. The Governor was joined by Dr. Renee Edwards, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, OHSU Health; Olivia Quiroz, Executive Director, Oregon Latino Health Coalition; Patrick Allen, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director; and Dr. Dean Sidelinger, State Epidemiologist, OHA.
“In the race between vaccines and variants, right now the variants have the upper hand,” said Governor Brown. “Today’s cases topped 1,000, with Oregon now ranking second in the nation for having the most rapid growth of infection spread. Our hospitals are about to surpass 300 positive COVID-19 cases. That means several counties are on the verge of having to reinstate Extreme Risk restrictions on businesses and activities.
“At this moment, we are moving backwards. Oregon needs to be moving forward. My goal is to get the state back on track to lift the restrictions this pandemic has forced upon us — I think we can get there by the start of summer, but we will all need to pull together.
A few weeks ago, I came before you to say that we were concerned we would have a fourth surge of COVID-19 in Oregon. Today, that surge is here. Right now in the race between vaccines and variants, the variants are gaining ground and have the upper hand. Today’s cases topped 1,000, with Oregon now ranking 2nd in the nation for having the most rapid growth of infection spread.
Our doctors and nurses are once again overwhelmed. Our hospitals are about to surpass 300 patients who are positive for COVID-19, crossing the threshold to place several of our counties into Extreme Risk. Unfortunately, that means at least 12 counties are on the verge of having to reinstate restrictions on businesses like restaurants, bars and gyms, and to limit social gatherings to very small groups again.
We will analyze the data again early next week to see which counties may need to roll back into Extreme Risk. If the data indicates it is necessary, in light of this crisis I am cancelling the warning week and those counties will move into Extreme Risk starting next Friday, April 30. This is not a step I take lightly. However, this could be the last time we need to impose this level of restrictions given our vaccination trends and the virus’s behavior. At this moment, we are moving backwards. Oregon needs to be moving forward.
That’s why I released my 10-point plan for economic recovery, and it’s why I’m working with business and worker advocates to pass important relief during this legislative session. We need: Relief for the hardest hit businesses from unemployment insurance rate increases; Investments in our manufacturers and modernization of apprenticeships and workforce training programs; New relief for businesses that have never qualified for previous aid; and An expansion of the rent relief package we passed in December to include businesses who own part or all of their storefronts.”
* My goal is to get the state back on track to lift the restrictions this pandemic has forced upon us, so we can all return to seeing the people we love and doing the things we miss. I think we can get there by the start of summer. But in order to reach that goal, we will all need to work together to win this race.
Here’s what must happen before we are able to fully reopen our economy:
• Oregonians need to get vaccinated. We need to reach a significant majority of Oregonians with a vaccine;
• We need to close the equity gap in our vaccine efforts;
• Vaccine supplies need to be readily available for all eligible Oregonians who want to be protected. Most importantly and of grave concern right now, we need adequate hospital staffing and capacity for our families and friends in need of this care.
Vaccines are the absolutely key to moving Oregon forward. The overwhelming majority of our new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are people who have not yet been vaccinated. We are seeing younger Oregonians in the hospital now, as well as people who had no underlying health conditions.
I do think, with all of us working together, we can get to a place where we lift most restrictions and fully reopen our economy no later than the end of June. Common sense safety measures like mask wearing and maintaining six feet of distance will need to stay in place. We all need to make smart choices over the next several weeks so we can move forward and into post-pandemic life. That’s the hill on the horizon. We can climb it together. How quickly we get there is up to each and every one of us.
Every Oregonian age 16 and older can now sign up to get your vaccine. If you haven’t already had a chance to get vaccinated, make a plan to do so now. Once you get your shot, help your family, friends, and neighbors sign up for theirs. And spread the word. Join the #MyVaccineReason campaign and post your vaccine reason to social media. So let this be your takeaway: vaccines are your best protection against the variants. They are the best way to keep you out of the hospital. And they are the quickest way for us all to get back to the people and things we miss the most.
Oregon, it’s up to all of us to get there. Let’s move forward together.