Public health experts warn that without drastic measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, the demand for intensive-care beds in local hospitals could quickly outstrip capacity. As of Tuesday, Oregon had 66 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, but researchers expect the number of new cases statewide will double every 6.2 days. At that rate the state will need 1,000 additional hospital beds and another 400 intensive care beds in a matter of weeks, officials said.
Authorities urge everyone to take steps to protect themselves, their families, and those who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. Those considered “high risk” include adults 60 and older, or anyone with a serious health condition, including lung or heart problems, kidney disease, diabetes, or anyone who has a suppressed immune system.
People vulnerable to complications should follow federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to stay home as much as possible and avoid gatherings.
Every resident should take these basic steps to protect themselves and those most at risk:
Never visit a hospital or long-term-care facility if you have a fever or cough.
Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like bathrooms, desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, faucet handles, toys and cell phones.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Stay home and away from others if you are ill.
After someone contracts COVID-19, illness usually develops within 14 days. Symptoms mirror those of the flu, including fever, cough, runny nose, headache, sore throat and general feelings of illness. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.