TOP News

US: Oregon, once a virus success story, struggles with surge

NBA proposes new set of strict rules for unvaccinated players

  NBA proposes new set of strict rules for unvaccinated players ESPN has obtained a memo from the NBA that proposes stringent protocols for the upcoming season for players who are not vaccinated against COVID-19. The memo states that unvaccinated players "will have lockers as far away as possible from their vaccinated teammates and will have to eat, fly, and ride buses in different sections." Unvaccinated players will also be subject to testing on practice days as well as game days and could be potentially be checked twice ahead of games. Other bullet points, as mentioned above, regarding the limited contact unvaccinated players can have with their inoculated teammates.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon was once the poster child for limiting the spread of the coronavirus, after its Democratic governor imposed some of the nation’s strictest safety measures, including mask mandates indoors and outdoors, limits on gatherings and an order closing restaurants.

Two visitors peer into the room of a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit at Salem Hospital in Salem, Oregon, on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, as a nurse dons full protective gear before going into the room of another patient. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients.  (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky) © Provided by Associated Press Two visitors peer into the room of a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit at Salem Hospital in Salem, Oregon, on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, as a nurse dons full protective gear before going into the room of another patient. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)

But now the state is being hammered by the super-transmissible delta variant, and hospitals are getting stretched to the breaking point. The vast majority of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.

Disappeared ducky, ramen rewards, Dorothy Parker: News from around our 50 states

  Disappeared ducky, ramen rewards, Dorothy Parker: News from around our 50 states Stone’s inscription may mark distance to Spain from Alabama, park seeks to downplay Confederate giants in Georgia, and moreStart the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, EMTs bring another patient to the Emergency Department in the Critical Care Unit at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. Only essential staff are permitted in the zone, and those who enter a patient's room must don various articles of Personal Protective Equipment. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients. (Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool) © Provided by Associated Press In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, EMTs bring another patient to the Emergency Department in the Critical Care Unit at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. Only essential staff are permitted in the zone, and those who enter a patient's room must don various articles of Personal Protective Equipment. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients. (Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool)

The intensive care unit at Salem Hospital in Oregon’s capital city is completely full, with 19 of the 30 beds occupied last week by COVID-19 patients, the youngest only 20 years old. It's the same at a hospital in Roseburg, a former timber town in western Oregon. A COVID-19 patient died in its emergency room last week while waiting for an ICU bed to open, an event that was deeply distressing to the medical staff.

Red Sox place Danny Santana on COVID-19 IL as outbreak continues to worsen

  Red Sox place Danny Santana on COVID-19 IL as outbreak continues to worsen Shortly after announcing that right-hander Nick Pivetta had been placed on the COVID-19-related injured list, the Red Sox announced that infielder Danny Santana has also been placed on the list. The #RedSox today placed INF/OF Danny Santana on the COVID-19 Related Injured List. To fill Santana’s spot on the active roster, the Red Sox recalled OF Franchy Cordero from Triple-A Worcester.

A nurse talks to a patient in the emergency room at Salem Hospital in Salem, Ore., on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, with gurneys lining the hallway behind them, ready to take patients if needed. Sometimes patients must stay in hallways because of a lack of available rooms. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky) © Provided by Associated Press A nurse talks to a patient in the emergency room at Salem Hospital in Salem, Ore., on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, with gurneys lining the hallway behind them, ready to take patients if needed. Sometimes patients must stay in hallways because of a lack of available rooms. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)

“We need your help, grace and kindness,” the staff of CHI Health Medical Center said on Facebook. They are reeling “from the extraordinary onslaught of new cases and hospitalizations."

Oregon is among a handful of states, including Florida, Arkansas and Louisiana, that have more people hospitalized with COVID-19 than ever before.

“This is really a dire situation,” said Jeff Absalon, chief physician executive for St. Charles Health System in Bend. National Guard troops were deployed to the mountain town's hospital last week to assist medical workers.

Some 1,500 guard troops have been dispatched to hospitals around the state by Gov. Kate Brown, who warned of the “seriousness of this crisis for all Oregonians, especially those needing emergency and intensive care.”

Volunteer groups help poorest survive Thailand's worst surge

  Volunteer groups help poorest survive Thailand's worst surge BANGKOK (AP) — For two months, carpenter Tun Nye hasn’t been able to send any money home to his parents in Myanmar to help them care for his 11-year-old son, after authorities in Thailand shut down his construction site over coronavirus concerns. No work has meant no income for him or his wife, who have been confined to one of more than 600 workers’ camps dotted around Bangkok, living in small room in a ramshackle building with boards and blankets to cover missing windows. © Provided by Associated Press Myanmar migrant worker lives his daily lives at construction camps in Bangkok, Thailand, on Aug. 31, 2021.

In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, a staff member treats a patient at the Critical Care Unit at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients.(Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool) © Provided by Associated Press In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, a staff member treats a patient at the Critical Care Unit at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients.(Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool)

Oregon keeps breaking records for the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, reaching 937 on Monday. That's a 50% increase over last year's record, when vaccines were not yet available. More than 90% of Oregon's adult hospital and ICU beds are currently full.

And on Monday Legacy Health, a hospital system in Portland that includes six hospitals, said it was pausing all non-urgent surgical procedures for two weeks to create bed capacity.

Lisa, a nurse in Salem Hospital’s ICU, told a small group of visiting journalists Friday that she is both frustrated and sad to see a record number of COVID-19 patients, even though vaccines are widely available. She spoke on the condition that her last name not be used, because the pandemic and how to fight it have become highly politicized.

Her family found her dead during a brutal heat wave. Her home lacked a lifesaving necessity.

  Her family found her dead during a brutal heat wave. Her home lacked a lifesaving necessity. The summer heat is most dangerous for low-income communities, where many lack air conditioning. Housing advocates want to change that.The $750-a-month apartment didn’t come with air conditioning, and the old floor unit that she and her son had scraped the money together to buy wasn’t working. When her son suggested getting a new one, she waved the idea away. “We’ll see,” she told him over the phone on June 27, the last time that they spoke.

In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, the staff works inside the Emergency Department at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. The staff has seen a higher patient load than any time in the past year, attributable to the surge of patients suffering from COVID-19. One nurse said they hit the floor running and are slammed their entire shift. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients. (Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool) © Provided by Associated Press In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, the staff works inside the Emergency Department at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. The staff has seen a higher patient load than any time in the past year, attributable to the surge of patients suffering from COVID-19. One nurse said they hit the floor running and are slammed their entire shift. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients. (Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool)

“We’ve been dealing with the second wave when we thought — I guess we hoped — it wouldn't come. And it’s come. And it’s harder and worse, way worse, than before," she said. Hours earlier, a COVID-19 patient died in the ICU.

As she spoke, a patient’s heart monitor beeped. A mechanical ventilator occasionally added a higher-pitched tone. Fifteen of the COVID-19 patients were on ventilators. The hospital's wellness department, which normally recommends yoga and deep breathing for relaxation, recently set up a booth and filled it with dinner plates for a different kind of stress relief.

“We put on safety glasses,” Lisa said. “And we took plates and we shattered them. And I kept going back. I kept going back, and they told me I had enough turns.”

Ohio State vs. Oregon live score, updates, highlights from marquee Big Ten-Pac-12 game

  Ohio State vs. Oregon live score, updates, highlights from marquee Big Ten-Pac-12 game Oregon and Ohio State face their first big test of the season when they face off in Columbus on Saturday. Sporting News has you covered on all the action from the ranked Pac-12-Big Ten matchup:But then, the Buckeyes face the same situation; they got Minnesota's best shot in their season-opening game, only sealing the game with a 61-yard touchdown connection between C.J. Stroud and Chris Olave with fewer than five minutes left in the game. The Buckeyes won 45-31 but, as the score indicates, this Ohio State defense is susceptible to giving up points.

In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, signs delineating the © Provided by Associated Press In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, signs delineating the "Hot Zone" are posted at the Critical Care Unit at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. Only essential staff are permitted in the zone, and those who enter a patient's room must don various articles of Personal Protective Equipment. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients. (Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool)

She said one advantage over last year's surge is that she's vaccinated, so she is not as scared of dying. Another improvement is that there are plenty of masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment.

In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, a staff member works in the Critical Care Unit at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients.(Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool) © Provided by Associated Press In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, a staff member works in the Critical Care Unit at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients.(Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool)

Other than the beeping monitors, the ICU was quiet. The COVID-19 patients are heavily sedated and behind closed doors. Outside their rooms stand poles draped with IV bags, the tubes running through a crack in the door so nurses can change the bags without exposing themselves to the virus.

Beds outside the unit can be upgraded to ICU-level care by adding monitors and life-support machines, said Martin Johnson, the ICU medical director. A rapid-response team composed of an ICU nurse and an ICU-level respiratory therapist provide backup support, he said, stressing that the hospital can still take in patients.

Analysis: Oregon's upset of Ohio State will reverberate through Big 10, Pac-12 and into the College Football Playoff

  Analysis: Oregon's upset of Ohio State will reverberate through Big 10, Pac-12 and into the College Football Playoff The deepest impact of the Ducks' win is reserved for how it re-establishes the Pac-12 as conference worthy of being included in the championship mix.With the win, the Ducks upended several layers of the status quo to alter how we view some of the defining figures behind this year's national championship, including the powerful Buckeyes, the Big Ten and the much-maligned Pac-12.

In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, a member of the environmental services staff cleans a glass door inside the Emergency Department of Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients. (Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool) © Provided by Associated Press In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, a member of the environmental services staff cleans a glass door inside the Emergency Department of Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients. (Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool)

After conferring on each patient’s medical status, ICU team members, who have spent a year and a half trying to keep COVID-19 patients alive, stand in a circle, sometimes holding hands, and try to come up with positive things to say.

“Sometimes it's, ‘Their oxygen needs are less, or their fever is gone,’” Johnson said. “At other times, it’s ‘The patient opened his eyes and squeezed my hand.’”

In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, nurses at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center wear specific personal protective equipment to safely work in the Critical Care Unit at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. Only essential staff are permitted in the zone, and those who enter a patient's room must don various articles of Personal Protective Equipment. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients. (Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool) © Provided by Associated Press In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, nurses at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center wear specific personal protective equipment to safely work in the Critical Care Unit at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. Only essential staff are permitted in the zone, and those who enter a patient's room must don various articles of Personal Protective Equipment. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients. (Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool)

When there is no improvement, staff will instead express gratitude for each other or for the support of patients' relatives.

Oregon's early success against the virus may have helped fuel the delta variant's toll on the state, because the aggressive measures to curb the first surge left many population pockets with no immunity. And though some 72% of adults statewide are at least partially vaccinated, that number drops to less than 50% in 10 of Oregon’s 36 counties.

Bills' Dion Dawkins 'not close' to full strength after COVID-19 hospitalization

  Bills' Dion Dawkins 'not close' to full strength after COVID-19 hospitalization Dion Dawkins was hospitalized for four days after developing severe COVID-19 symptoms. Dawkins lost 16 pounds and might have an uphill battle to be ready by the time the Bills begin their season. “He’s not close to where he needs to be to play and help us,” McDermott said. “So he’s got a long road here. … He’s going to control what he can control, and so are we. He’s got to continue to work hard to get himself back to where he’s — I mean, this is what, going on Week 4 of training camp at this point, so he’s missed a lot of time.

A medical personnel with full protective gear is shown at Salem Hospital in Salem, Oregon, on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.   COVID-19 cases are surging across Oregon, and many hospitals are filled to capacity.  (Kristyna Wentz-Graff/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press A medical personnel with full protective gear is shown at Salem Hospital in Salem, Oregon, on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. COVID-19 cases are surging across Oregon, and many hospitals are filled to capacity. (Kristyna Wentz-Graff/Pool Photo via AP)

Oregon’s low immunity level, considering previous infection rates and the number of unvaccinated people, creates a high risk for new infections, said Renee Edwards, chief medical officer at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

Compounding the problem: Oregon has, along with Washington state, the lowest per-capita supply of hospital beds in the nation. The two states each have only 1.7 beds per 1,000 residents, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on national health issues. South Dakota ranks first, with 4.8 beds per 1,000.

In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, an unidentified patient is monitored at the Critical Care Unit at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients.(Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool) © Provided by Associated Press In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, an unidentified patient is monitored at the Critical Care Unit at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients.(Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool)

It will be a race against time to see if Oregon's health care system can withstand the current surge before it eases off. Oregon Health & Science University predicts the peak will be Sept. 7.

___ Cline reported from Portland, Oregon. Cline is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Bills' Dion Dawkins 'not close' to full strength after COVID-19 hospitalization .
Dion Dawkins was hospitalized for four days after developing severe COVID-19 symptoms. Dawkins lost 16 pounds and might have an uphill battle to be ready by the time the Bills begin their season. “He’s not close to where he needs to be to play and help us,” McDermott said. “So he’s got a long road here. … He’s going to control what he can control, and so are we. He’s got to continue to work hard to get himself back to where he’s — I mean, this is what, going on Week 4 of training camp at this point, so he’s missed a lot of time.

See also