PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen revealed last week that the state had officially requested COVID-19 help from the federal government, “We understand that many other states are facing even worse challenges than Oregon. But we continue to pursue federal help despite these competing demands for resources.”
But on Friday, Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced FEMA has answered the call.
The agency is working with American Medical Response to send health care professionals and resources to hospitals in Jackson, Josephine, Douglas, and Deschutes Counties.
Those hospitals were all chosen because they all have critical staffing needs due to the Delta Variant.
“Our healthcare heroes are working around the clock to treat their communities amid this new, startling spike in coronavirus cases,” said Merkley. “We need to do everything we can to help them in this fight—from wearing masks indoors and social distancing, to encouraging our friends to get vaccinated and getting our hospitals the resources they need to battle on the frontlines. This funding will help us make that happen, so we can get to the other side of this surge as quickly as possible.”
“The heartbreaking and harrowing accounts that nurses, doctors and staff shared with me last week in Bend and Medford speak directly to their need for immediate assistance as they work long hours caring for Oregonians filling their hospitals,” Wyden said. “I’m glad FEMA has responded to that urgent need in Southern Oregon and Central Oregon, And I’ll keep battling for additional resources that help courageous caregivers statewide and the patients counting on them to weather this latest wave in the public health crisis.”