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Statewide assocation says more social distancing measures needed to avoid a higher mortality rate due to overwhelmed facilities.

PMG FILE PHOTO - An Oregon hospital trade association is urging Gov. Kate Brown to issue a shelter-in-place order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.The trade group representing Oregon hospitals on Thursday, March 19, urged Gov. Kate Brown to issue a shelter-in-place order restricting poeple to nonessential trips.

Stronger social distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, are needed, according to the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.

"We've already restricted Oregonians significantly. It is critically important we all follow these guidelines to protect ourselves and our neighbors." — Gov. Kate Brown

"The coronavirus is dangerous because although we can't see it, the virus is in our community and it is lethal. Hospitals and health systems are preparing for a surge in COVID-19 patients and it is critical that we have the capacity to care for those patients and others who present at our facilities. Mortality is higher when the health system gets overwhelmed. We must act now to save lives," said Becky Hultberg, association president and chief executive officer.

PMGThe group represents Oregon's 62 acute care hospitals.

On Wednesday, March 18, Oregon Health & Science University's chief medical officer, Dr. Renee Edwards, also said she supported such an order.

Brown said Thursday that she was not considering a statewide shelter-in-place directive. "Our current focus should be on communicating the aggressive social distancing measures already in place," Brown said. "We've already restricted Oregonians significantly. It is critically important we all follow these guidelines to protect ourselves and our neighbors. This is literally an act of saving lives."


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