PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – A record 665 people were in the hospital with COVID-19 in Oregon Wednesday as the state enacts new measures to curb rising case counts and keep hospital beds free.
The Oregon Health Authority reported eight new deaths related to COVID-19 on Wednesday. That brings the state’s death toll to 2,920. OHA also reported 1,991 new cases of the virus, bringing that total to 234,393.
Governor Kate Brown announced a statewide indoor mask mandate that takes effect Friday.
Everyone who is 5 years or older in Oregon — regardless of vaccination status — will be required to wear masks in indoor public spaces. Brown had urged local officials to implement their own mandates, but almost none did.
The newest coronavirus health and safety measure in Oregon applies to all indoor public spaces, including businesses, grocery stores, indoor entertainment venues and gyms. In addition, people older than two years old will be required to wear masks on public transit.
There are some mask exemptions for activities, including eating, drinking, swimming and organized sports.
Intensive care unit beds across the state are about 90% full, and some hospital regions have less than five ICU beds available, Brown said.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its recommendation for pregnant people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“When our hospitals are full, there will be no room for additional patients needing care –– whether for COVID-19, a heart attack or stroke, a car collision, or a variety of other emergency situations,” Brown said.
There are 172 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds, which is eight more than Tuesday, according to OHA.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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