Current projections predict a significant spike in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations driven by the omicron variant beginning mid-January and likely peaking in February. Although omicron may cause a less severe illness, it is significantly more transmissible: The spike in hospitalizations is projected to two to three times the September peak driven by the delta variant – from a high of 1,200 patients in hospitals in September to 2,000 to 3,000 hospitalizations from omicron.
It is not too late to take action. Please do what you can to keep yourself, your family, your co-workers and your community safe. We are asking everyone to please get fully vaccinated, including a booster if eligible, wear masks, and avoid large indoor gatherings this holiday season.
Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, OHSU, PeaceHealth and Providence continue to do our part to address this public health crisis. We know our dedicated teams will once again do all they can to care for patients. But, after nearly two years of fighting this pandemic our nurses and doctors are exhausted. Clinical staff and hospital beds are in short supply in all of our hospitals. A significant increase in COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations in Oregon and Southwest Washington will create delays in emergency department care for some patients and additional delays for surgeries, due to the lack of an available staffed bed.
The omicron variant has been infecting some people who are already vaccinated. But the good news is people who are fully vaccinated and received a booster shot are less likely to be infected and much less likely to have a severe illness and hospitalization.
Again, if you haven’t been vaccinated and/or boosted, please do so now. Go to getvaccinated.oregon.gov for information. Each illness we prevent or reduce frees up health care resources for a loved one, friend or neighbor in need.
Doug Koekkoek, MD, CPE - PeaceHealth
Richard DeCarlo, COO - PeaceHealth
Wendy Watson, COO - Kaiser Permanente
Mary Giswold, MD, CMO - Kaiser Permanente
Trent Green, COO - Legacy Health
Seth Podolsky, MD, CMO - Legacy Health
Joe Ness, COO - OHSU
Renee Edwards, MD, CMO - OHSU
William Olson, COO - Providence
Steve Freer, MD, CMO - Providence