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Oregon Healthcare Community Urges: “Please celebrate safely.”

PORTLAND, Ore.— On Sunday, Nov. 22, Oregon marked the third straight day of a record-breaking high of new COVID-19 cases, while Nov. 19 set a record for the number of hospitalizations, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

The coronavirus is ripping through Oregon’s communities at a staggering rate. COVID-19 is real, and its effects are not overstated.

Oregon’s hospitals are nearing their capacities, taxing the available intensive care unit (ICU) beds and staff. Frontline responders are tired due to the pandemic’s impact, and some of the supplies we need to care for you are once again becoming limited.

Our state’s physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and hospitals urge Oregonians not to gather in person with others from outside their own households on Thanksgiving, and throughout the coming holiday season. At this time, in-person social gatherings are dangerous and irresponsible. Until a safe and effective vaccine is widely available, our best advice to our patients and to all Oregonians is this: celebrate the holidays safely with only those who live in your own home.

Failing this, if you do plan to come into contact with others, we know that keeping gatherings small with six feet of physical distance, wearing masks, and frequent handwashing is the best course of action.

If Oregon's case numbers do not slow and reverse, we will struggle to provide the best possible care for you and those you love, and not just for COVID-19. Limited resources and staff will affect our ability to provide chemotherapy for cancer treatment, emergency surgery for a heart attack or severe infection, or possibly even a safe place to deliver a baby.  

Oregon's physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and hospitals need your help in order to do our jobs well. As we head into a new year and conceive of the potential for a better 2021, we urge responsible celebration this holiday season to prevent death and hospitalization.


The Oregon Medical Association (OMA) is the state’s largest professional organization engaging in advocacy, policy, community-building, and networking opportunities for Oregon’s physicians, physician assistants, medical students, and physician assistant students. In the state capitol of Salem and in Washington, DC, the OMA’s members speak with one voice as they advocate for policies that improve access to quality patient care and reduce administrative burdens on medical professionals. Additional information is available at Press contact: Aaron Ragan-Fore, 541-556-8850,

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is the state’s largest and most influential nursing organization. We are a professional association and labor union which represents 15,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state. Our mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: Press contact: Kevin Mealy, 765-760-2203,

Founded in 1934, the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems is a statewide, nonprofit trade association that works closely with local and national government leaders, business and citizen coalitions, and other professional health care organizations to enhance and promote community health, and to continue improving Oregon's innovative health care community. For more information visit: Press contact: Michael Cox,