PORTLAND, Ore. — Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) are urging people to stay safe this Labor Day weekend as COVID-19 cases rise and health care workers are stretched thin due to hospitals at full capacity.
Gov. Brown released a statement on Friday recommending that people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 stay close to home and avoid gathering with people from other households.
"This year, with the highly contagious delta variant surging and our hospitals and health care workers stretched to their absolute limits treating COVID-19 patients, we all have a personal responsibility to watch out for the health and safety of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones," said Gov. Brown.
She also asked vaccinated people to take safety precautions by wearing masks.
"More Oregonians masking up over the last several weeks has helped to slow the spread of COVID-19," said Gov. Brown. "We are also all at risk in another way: when our hospitals and emergency departments are full, it means there may not be a bed for you if you need care. Rethink activities that might put you at risk for physical injury. If you go out on the water, wear a life jacket and boat sober."
New cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Oregon have increased week-over-week. The OHA said as of Thursday there were 1,131 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Oregon. Out of those 1,131 people, there were 308 patients in intensive care unit beds.
In a post on Twitter, the OHA asked people to avoid risky behavior because there may not be space for them in Oregon hospitals. The OHA also put out a statement saying playing it safe this long weekend is the best choice to protect yourself, your household and community.
For weeks, health officials have been calling on more Oregonians to get vaccinated to help slow the spread of the delta variant. According to the OHA's latest breakthrough case report, the rate of COVID-19 in unvaccinated people is currently about five times higher than in vaccinated people. Health officials reiterate that getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent severe illness and hospitalization.