Oregon has the 12th highest vaccination rate in the U.S., with 58% of all reside…
Oregon has the 12th highest vaccination rate in the U.S., with 58% of all residents fully vaccinated, according to data compiled by the Mayo Clinic, but the intensive care units in the three hospitals of Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in southern Oregon are overflowing with Covid-19 patients. The pipes that carry oxygen recently began to freeze at one of the hospitals because Covid-19 patients were using so much.
“This is by far the worst I’ve seen it,” said Kelsea Robinson, manager of the intensive care unit. “At some point, we will run out of critical-care spaces, and we will have to make decisions and ration care, and that’s a really, really horrific place to be.”
Health authorities in Oregon say the current Covid-19 wave—during which infection and hospitalization rates have hit new highs—is the result of uneven vaccination rates between urban and more-rural areas. In Multnomah County, home to Portland, 67% of residents are fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, in Jackson County, home to Medford and Asante’s Rogue Regional Medical Center, 51% of residents are fully vaccinated, and in the adjoining counties of Josephine and Douglas the rates are 46% and 43%, respectively. Most patients hospitalized with Covid-19 are unvaccinated, according to healthcare officials.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that Oregon has the fewest hospital beds per capita of any state, part of a focus by health officials on prevention over treatment.
“As hospitals in that part of the state become overburdened, more of their patients need to go elsewhere,” said Pat Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority. “The net result of all of it is, virtually every hospital in the state is at or above capacity right now.”
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📷: Zusha Elinson for @wsjphotos