November 9, 2020

Metro Portland health systems urge Oregonians to stay home

A joint statement from Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, OHSU Health, VA Portland Health Care System, and Providence Health & Services.

Portland area health care systems urge canceling social gatherings, staying home when possible, wearing a mask, using hand hygiene, and physical distancing.

This week’s record-breaking number of COVID-19 cases coupled with a significant increase in patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization are raising concerns about the health and well-being of Oregonians and our health systems’ capacity to treat them. That’s why we strongly encourage Oregonians to follow the guidelines Gov. Brown set forth to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The collective sacrifices of Oregonians over the last 9 months have been nothing short of remarkable. You have saved lives and prevented our hospitals and clinics from being overwhelmed by patients critically ill with COVID-19 and, for that, we and our health care workers caring for patients on the front lines are truly grateful.

We understand that people are tired and frustrated, but we must remain vigilant. We do not yet have a sure medical treatment to prevent or treat COVID-19 once a person is infected, so our best defense continues to be a good proactive offense.

Together, our health systems are committed to doing everything we can to provide care to all those who need us, and, to that end, we are closely coordinating our efforts, in partnership with county, state, and regional public health officials, to ensure we have adequate personnel, supplies, hospital space, and equipment, but we urgently need your help.

What’s most important now is that everyone protects themselves and others as much as possible by pausing or canceling social gatherings, staying home to the extent possible, wearing a mask, using hand hygiene, and physical distancing.

Thank you for your continued support.

Mary E. Giswold, MD, FACS, associate medical director, Hospitals and Post-Acute Care, Kaiser Permanente Northwest

Melinda Muller, MD, interim senior vice president and chief medical officer, Legacy Health

Renee Edwards, MD, MBA, FACS, senior vice president and chief medical officer, OHSU Health

Sahana Misra, MD, chief of staff, VA Portland Health Care System

Steven Freer, MD, chief medical officer, Providence Health & Services in Oregon