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Statement by OAHHS on Shelter in Place Recommendation

PORTLAND, OR – Today, Becky Hultberg, President and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS), released the following statement on the need for stronger social distancing measures. OAHHS represents Oregon’s 62 acute care hospitals and works on behalf of the patients they serve to promote community health and to continue improving Oregon's innovative health care system.
"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 are present at our facilities. Mortality is higher when the health system gets overwhelmed. We must act now to save lives.
"Absent widespread testing and the ability to isolate patients, the public health tool we must use to avoid a rising patient surge is social distancing. Yesterday, our board recommended that the Governor take the strongest possible action when it comes to social distancing measures now. We support action on the state or local level to further limit retail commerce, unnecessary travel and adopt ‘shelter in place‘ strategies."