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Oregon health officials predict major hospitalization surge due to Omicron, strongly urge boosters

Omicron hospitalization Oregon OHSU
Gov. Kate Brown's Office
New projection shows potential major surge of hospitalizations due to Omicron variant

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Despite only three confirmed cases so far of the highly contagious omicron variant in Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown and health officials warned Friday that based on global data, the state’s peak number of hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic — about 1,200 —could more than double by the end of February, possibly even top 3,000, as an Omicron wave hits.

They strongly urged people to get their COVID-19 booster shots and continue other steps such as masking indoors, which they also made clear they know most Oregonians are weary of, heading into a second holiday season under pandemic conditions.

The Oregon Health Authority announced it is working to expand booster vaccination, with a goal of administering booster shots to an additional million residents by the end of January, doubling the current number of people who have already received the booster.

“We only have a few weeks to prepare before Omicron hits in full force,” Brown said. “I know bracing for a new variant as we head into our second pandemic holiday season is not what we all hoped for.”

“I know we’re all ready for COVID-19 to be over,” she said. “If you take one thing away from today’s press conference, let it be this: Get your booster shot,” which she said is “incredibly effective to protect against serious illness and hospitalization.”

Brown also noted that “as Omicron spreads, more states are following Oregon’s lead,” in terms of indoor mask requirements. “We have a three-week window to prepare for the next surge. … We are literally in a race against the clock,” with a focus on vaccination boosters for the most vulnerable Oregonians, especially seniors and long-term care facility residents.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE1pIbtH3Rw

Dr. Peter Graven, lead data scientist at OHSU’s business intelligence unit, said his latest forecasts, based on the spread seen in the UK and Denmark, as well as data from Washington state, show that “while the severity (of the Omicron variant) is less, it is not low enough to prevent us from seeing” a big spike in hospitalizations. “The rate of severe illness appears lower, but it is causing some severe illness.” More data is expected next week from the Centers for Disease Control, he said.

The best news seen so far from Omicron is a "dramatically lower death rate," Graven said. "But people are still going to show up at the hospital," and a surge bigger than others before is quite possible.

The other pluses seen to this point include predictions of a lower length of hospital stays, he said, but the Omicron variant “spreads incredibly faster” than Delta did, and those previously vaccinated are getting infected, especially without booster shots.

OHA Director Patrick Allen called the news “deeply troubling and demoralizing. We all want to put COVID-19 behind us, once and for all. But today’s warning is a forecast we cannot ignore. We’re tired to being swamped and battered … but this isn’t the moment to give up.”

Allen noted that since the Delta surge arrived, nearly 2,500 Oregonians have lost their lives to Delta, which is far less contagious than Omicron. "Approximately 9 in 10 of these lives could have been saved by vaccinations," he said.

"Even if a vaccine doesn't prevent an Omicron infection, people who are vaccinated are less likely to become severely ill, and preliminary research tells us that a booster dose further builds antibodies," Allen added.

OHA also will work to quickly deliver the new COVID-19 treatments and expand testing, support health care workers and hospitals and connect more people to boosters, treatments and testing.

Dr. Renee Edwards, chief medical officer at OHSU Health, also stressed that the Delta surge isn't over. "We're approaching this next surge at the halfway point, coming down from Delta." So that raises more concern, as “our hospitals are full right now,” she said not just from Delta but other conditions, some delayed in care due to the pandemic’s impacts -- which she noted is not just on full hospital beds but staffing numbers and burnout.

Brown said she is “absolutely committed to keeping schools open, to the extent that we can do that safely,” with steps underway such as ramped-up testing at schools to avoid widespread quarantines. And she said it will impact businesses, due to how fast the variant spreads.


News release:

Governor Kate Brown Urges Oregonians to get COVID-19 Booster Shots to Protect Against Omicron

OHSU modeling shows the state is weeks away from a spike in cases, fueled by the quickly spreading Omicron variant

Governor calls on 1 million Oregonians to step up and get their booster dose by January 31 

 (Portland, OR) — In a press conference today, Governor Kate Brown provided an update on the current state of COVID-19 in Oregon. She was joined by Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen, State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger, Chief Medical Officer at the Oregon Health & Science University Dr. Renee Edwards, and Lead Data Scientist at OHSU’s Business Intelligence Unit Dr. Peter Graven.

"This week we identified the first cases of the Omicron variant in Oregon. While we are all still learning about this new variant, it is clear from the experiences of the United Kingdom and other countries that we have only weeks to prepare before Omicron hits our communities and health care systems in full force," said Governor Brown. "Masks, vaccines, and the incredible efforts of our health care workers, public health partners, and National Guard members have seen us through the Delta surge. We will need to make the same statewide, collaborative efforts to see us through Omicron.

"OHSU’s modeling shows that we have about a three-week window to prepare for this next surge. Boosters are our best protection against Omicron. The state will be taking important steps to make sure our most vulnerable Oregonians have access to booster shots and to make sure we are ready to support our hospital systems for another surge. A big part of that plan will depend on each and every one of you.

"Today I am calling on one million Oregonians to step up and get their booster dose by the end of January. I’ve directed OHA to get the vaccine supply and distribution capacity in place to support this goal. However, we will only reach it if everyone does their part. Get your booster shot. Boosters work, and are incredibly effective at continuing your protection against this virus and hospitalization. If you aren’t yet vaccinated, now is the time. This can be a matter of life or death."

Additional Materials

  • A recording of today's press conference — with an American Sign Language simulcast — is available on YouTube.
  • Please note the video starts at the 8:21 mark.
  • A copy of the Governor's prepared remarks from today's press conference is available here.
  • A copy of the Oregon Health Authority's Omicron Response Plan is available here.
  • A copy of Dr. Peter Graven's weekly COVID-19 forecast, completed on December 17, can be found here

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Becky Hultberg: Omicron Poses a Serious Threat to Oregonians

Oregonians should get vaccinated, boosted, and continue masking

Lake Oswego, Ore. – September 30, 2021 – Becky Hultberg, President and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health System, released the following statement regarding today’s press conference by Governor Kate Brown and forecasts about the omicron variant in Oregon.

“Today’s alarming forecast about the arrival and eventual spread of the omicron variant in Oregon is a stark reminder of the need to protect ourselves and our communities. Hospital staffing and capacity are overwhelmed from the delta surge, seasonal influenza, and patients needing urgent, delayed care. Now, more than ever, is the time to do all we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors from COVID. The single best thing you can do is to get vaccinated and receive your booster shot if you haven’t already. Please continue to wear a mask, physically distance, avoid large gatherings, and wash your hands regularly. It is not too late to protect yourself. The time to act is now. Our hospitals, our workforce, and our communities need your help so we can care for those who need us the most.”

###

About OAHHS: Founded in 1934, OAHHS is a statewide, nonprofit trade association that works closely with local and national government leaders, business and citizen coalitions, and other professional health care organizations to enhance and promote community health and to continue improving Oregon’s innovative health care delivery system.


News release from the Oregon Nurses Association:

OREGONIANS MUST TAKE ALL STEPS NECESSARY TO PROTECT THEIR HEALTH -- AND OUR STATE'S NURSES -- IN THE FACE OF THE COMING OMICRON SURGE

Tualatin, OR – With the first cases of the Omicron variant already reported in Oregon, and as the variant continues to spread quickly across the globe, Oregon has only a few weeks to take immediate steps to prepare for yet another deadly surge in our state. Governor Kate Brown’s announcement today of the dire predictions of the impact of Omicron on Oregon is a stark warning to all Oregonians to take immediate steps to protect themselves, our communities, and our health care systems. 

For nurses, and for all health care workers in Oregon, this is a particularly crucial time: the state continues to face unprecedented staffing challenges in hospitals and clinical settings in every community. The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is calling upon Oregonians to take all possible steps to protect their health in the face of this threat. By doing so, we can help mitigate the devastating impacts on our health care systems, and our dedicated nurses, from an Omicron surge.

OHSU’s modeling indicates that Oregon has a three-week window to prepare for the coming surge from Omicron – a surge that is likely to be more severe than previous Delta surges. There is no doubt that any surge in Covid infections will add additional pressure to our already strained health system, so taking steps now can have a significant impact. ONA looks forward to more details from the Governor on the state’s plans to support health care workers.

For now:

If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated. 

If you are vaccinated, get your booster shot.

In addition to vaccinations and boosters, please consider taking extra steps related to your family’s plans for upcoming holiday gatherings, including: 

  • Consider going virtual rather than in person. Everyone is exhausted by the ongoing impact of Covid 19, and Oregon’s nurses understand the frustration of having to be separated from our families and loved ones during the holidays. However, given the upcoming surge, please consider holding virtual gatherings, limiting the number of people who gather and ensuring high-risk individuals are protected from potential exposure.
  • Wear a mask indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces if you are not fully vaccinated or have a weakened immune system. Fully vaccinated individuals should also wear a facemask indoors in areas with significant COVID-19 transmission or if gathering in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces with unvaccinated or high-risk individuals. If you’re not sure, it’s safer to wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands. Handwashing is a proven tool to prevent disease transmission. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Clearly communicate expectations. Even among family and friends, it can be difficult to know who is vaccinated or who is at a greater health risk from COVID-19. You can always ask about vaccinations and employ other health and safety measures like opening windows to improve indoor ventilation, meeting outside, maintaining social distance or asking unvaccinated guests to quarantine or get tested in advance.
  • When in doubt, get tested. If you have COVID-19-like symptoms or have been recently exposed to COVID-19 you can visit your state’s health authority website to find COVID-19 testing options near you. You can also consider using a self-test at home before large gatherings as an extra precaution.
  • Stay home if you are sick. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or are sick, stay home and avoid hosting or attending gatherings.

# # #

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is the state’s largest and most influential nursing organization. We are a professional association and labor union which represents 15,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state. Our mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org.

Author Profile Photo

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

Comments

226 Comments

  1. Practice social distancing, it will curb the spread of COVID…………..Wear a mask, it will protect you and others……………… A lockdown is needed to curb the spread…………………Get vaccinated then you’ll be protected………………… We only need 70% vaccination rate………… Be sure to get your booster shot…………. Don’t pay any attention to the man behind the curtain, masks and vaccines work.

      1. You’d need a vaccine for that, and masks don’t work. It doesn’t stay on surfaces, you need to be in a room with someone infected for about 3 hours to contract it. The CDC has changed the definition of a vaccine 3 times since 2015, the latest being September of this year. It’s not a vaccine, quit pushing it.

          1. It’s also causing blood clots, and myocarditis in the youth, keep pushing your bs narrative. But you won’t report any of that, will you? You guys are a joke, the CNN of CO.

              1. Do you know of any local news source that actually tells unbiased news? I think most of your strong ratings/page views aren’t from quality news reporting, but because there isn’t much choice for local news. Here, KTVZ will report local stuff which is nice but there’s a lot of filler cut and pasted from some of the most biased news sources. If anyone knows of a local news source that’s not as into pushing this political agenda and more into neutral facts, than I’m all for it.

                1. Much of what our local TV competition reports is the same factual info we do. We have different styles/personalities (they do more long feature-type stories, several franchise segments on food, travel, outdoors etc.)
                  Facts are always neutral. It’s the political spin by unfair (and sometimes untrue) critics that’s not.

                1. We feature and promote locally produced news. AP provides state/regional news and our company’s 10 stations use the CNN Wire (there is nothing similar available from other networks).

            1. Seems the ‘goodly science’ folks are the ones pushing. They NEVER SAY the vaccines CAUSED those issues, because they cannot – or how small a percentage it is.
              Be careful folks, the ones who claim we have an “agenda” are usually pushing their own!

              1. Hey Barn,
                My Father-in-law was told by his doctor to get his second booster. He had a stroke less then 24 hours later and is still in the hospital w/serious medical issues.. I guess I’ll make sure to tell my wife and her family not to worry, Expert Barney says side effects are rare!

                1. I’m so sorry. And I’M NO EXPERT. NEVER claim to be. We try to accurately quote those who ARE. They’re not perfect, nor am I. I hope your father-in-law recovers soon and well.

              2. Barney, doesn’t mean our “agenda” is wrong or your “agenda” is right……. people need to start thinking for themselves. VARS is a good resource for looking up all the deaths caused by these so called “vaccines”…… over 5,000 deaths. Argue all you want about the inconsistency of VARS reporting, the medical professionals are still being told to report to it. If one really stopped to THINK, there is some pretty shady stuff going on. Makes me wonder if the “vaccine” isn’t perpetuating the virus??? Stranger things have happened. And before you shout “conspiracy theory” just know that most of “them” have come true!

                1. Most of them have NOT come true. And the keeper OF the VAERS database warns against using the unproven data. They have a very good use for the data. Others misuse it for political purposes.

          2. And the vast majority of those contracting the Omicron are those, so called, vaccinated people. So tell me, why would a third jab stop one from contracting it? The original doctor the identified the Omicron reported that it was mild, but our government immediately grabbed hold of it a ran a scare tactic to try and convince more people to get the jab boosters. Sorry, still not going to live in fear of our government.

            1. Again the critics conflate CASES with SERIOUS ILLNESS to make up false ulterior motives. Studies so far around the world have shown the booster works. Knowledge will evolve, and the critics will use the changing information as proof of lies. As opposed to what scientists and officials are SUPPOSED to do – adjust to the best, latest reputable data.
              https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/12/15/1064202754/omicron-evades-moderna-vaccine-too-study-suggests-but-boosters-help
              Follow the real FACTS, people. Not anonymous commenters trying to scare you.

                1. I did not allow one of your comments as a personally offensive attack upon me with false claims about what I have said here consistently. Sorry, the rest of it, if true, was very sad, but is NOT why it was not allowed.

              1. So much conflation from the critics ??? Does that include the CDC who finally recognized the serious hazards the J&J vaccine has lurched on so many “once-healthy” citizens ? Your vaccines are down by 1/3rd- and recent large scale research out of Denmark and France say Moderna isn’t far behind. America continues to ignore the global research and findings for what reason ???

                1. I read enough to know that the CDC no longer recommends the J&J Jab because of serious concerns over it’s safety- notice that the concerns are not about efficacy- but “safety”.

          3. If not was a real vaccine they wouldn’t have changed the definition of what a vaccine is. A vaccine provides immunity by definition, until now. This is a symptom reducer and control mechanism, nothing more. The numbers of vaccinated people getting Covid no longer qualify as breakthrough, they are routine. You should consider yourself sources Barney.

            1. The flu vaccine never provided 100 percent immunity. But I bet there were a few who said it was “not a vaccine.” Others just got the shot, whether that year’s model was on target or not. We always heard from some who said “I never got the flu until I got the shot.” But most saw the benefit.
              Now it’s all politicized, and hopefully people can see through the politics and hate of media, govt., pharma etc. to the facts.

              1. Us people can see through the politics and hate of media, govt, pharma, etc but when we share what we know, you like to shut it down and accuse others of spreading misinformation because it doesn’t match your misinformation. You need to bring back open dialogue and allow people to share thoughts without you interfering. You are central Oregon’s version of a facebook fact checker, but you take it too personal.

                1. Nope, sorry. You want “free range” to spread dangerous misinfo, you must do it somewhere else and deal with the consequences there. I’m not about to share the many comments from folks who call on us to delete the false info or shut this down because of the dangerous misinformation being spread here. I’m just doing my job. With the support of many I meet all the time who I never knew before. This is why so few places allow online comments any more. It’s too damn dangerous.
                  Facebook is sadly quite often a mob full of all this stuff, full of hate aimed at others, or us for daring to share factual info from reputable sources. Feel free to post there, where when people ask, we can and do delete and even report those spreading bad info of clearly offensive comments when we can.
                  Speak for yourself, “us people.”

                2. Most non democrat news sources still allow comments because they still believe in free dialogue and expression without the need for silencing anyone who they oppose.

                3. Really? Where? Oregon TV stations? (Or are there any “Republican” TV stations, in your view?)
                  Nationally, most networks stopped it for obvious reasons. Private enterprises can make their own decisions, that’s NOT ‘First Amendment’ (which is about govt. interference.)
                  I’m sure you have found places where you can say all that stuff, and be one of many spreading it. Not here.
                  Fox News got rid of them, I understand. Most national networks have decide it’s not worth the extreme issues.
                  You haven’t been silenced. We have banned no one – in some cases to keep all their comments from being deleted from the database, to show how much they ARE allowed to say – and what not, in case untrue allegations are made, so we can point to what was posted (or attempted).

                1. If the goal is to save lives now- then A) let individuals decide if the risks outweigh the annoying effects of this “mild” virus. B) Release “all” the safety data now instead of asking for a 51 year window like Big Pharma is insisting on.

              2. It’s a flu shot, not a flu vaccine, get a clue, nobody call it a flu vaccine Barney. You are knowingly spreading misinformation, shame on you

                1. Like so many common sensors here- you are right. The manipulation of basic vocabulary has become politicized to confuse the masses and at times blatantly lie. Most notably- the OHA changing their definition of hospital visits from Influenza like illness (ILI) to Covid like illness(CLI)- resulting in the appearance of a massive surge of CV19 cases- when in reality (at the time) their testing procedures could not tell the diff between the two. Anything to promote a politicized pandemic to attack then President Trump with. This has had all the makings of a Coup from day one.

                1. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/flushot.htm
                  What is a flu vaccine?
                  “Influenza (flu) vaccines (often called “flu shots”) are vaccines that protect against the four influenza viruses that research indicates most common during the upcoming season. Most flu vaccines are “flu shots” given with a needle, usually in the arm, but there also is also a nasal spray flu vaccine.”

          4. Why the mass emphasis on the shots when hydroxychloroquine and fluvoxamine reduce severity and hopitalizations also? Why no emphasis on early treatment with known, FDA approved drugs?. And now, the CDC is longer recommending the J&J due to blood clotting and death: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/16/cdc-panel-prefers-pfizer-moderna-vaccines-over-jj-due-to-rare-blood-clot-cases.html
            How long until they find that the serious side effects of the other shots are more frequent and more severe than previously acknowledged?
            And New York is set to address sudden cardiac arrest in student athletes:
            https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/ny-state-of-politics/2021/10/26/new-york-to-address-sudden-cardiac-arrest-in-student-athletes
            So, one in five prescriptions are written off label because many drugs can be beneficial for applications other than what they were developed for (even low dose aspirin is used as a blood thinner). So why is there a ban on ivermectin (no one has proven it doesn’t work and it has been around years and won a nobel prize) and they are saying it will take 2-3 years to study it when the mRNA shots (new technology) were rolled out in a matter of months?

            What I find most disturbing is that early treatment is not being emphasized. Our public health officials have “put all their eggs in one basket” which doesn’t make any sense.

                1. You should at least have a basic understanding of what you’re reading but, oh well. In an ideal world.

            1. It’s not supposed to make sense, its to fill the pockets of corporate greed. That’s it. Even Bill Gates was a fan of thinning out the population in the name of climate change.

          5. vac·cine
            /vakˈsēn/
            Learn to pronounce
            noun
            a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease.

            A vaccine provides immunity, by definition. This is a dictionary, not Wikipedia or CDC or WHO. What does it take to PROVE OTHERWISE? do any of the covid shots provide immunity?

            1. It doesn’t say “full, perfect” immunity.
              Immunity:
              the ability of an organism to resist a particular infection or toxin by the action of specific antibodies or sensitized white blood cells.
              Of course the dictionary definitions can be twisted for political use.

        1. Your Face ~ try 15 minutes (<) less than than 6 feet (close proximity) no mask, constant air exchange. That's all it takes.

          The vaccine mitigates, slows down most symptoms. NOT a cure. A remedy.
          Lessens fatalities. There will always be exceptions. Ever listened to a tv ad about an RX ~ the side effects are there…we don't live in a perfect world.

          If you'd prefer hospitalization/ and being on a ventilator. Or early death…I say go for it.

          Good luck! Happy trails.

      2. What evidence-research-scientific study do you have that backs what you say- because the never ending mask sales and millions of vaccinated have done nothing to stop the spread. We are entering “another Bumbling Joe Biden” surge- and you want to rinse and repeat the same flawed messaging. N95’s work- “face coverings” do not- please learn the diff.

          1. If they would give us the meds to help with the virus to begin with more people would survive. But because they don’t it forces people to go to the hospital when it is bad and puts them in jeopardy. That seems like it would be malpractice.

            1. Oregon has at least 5 FEMA camps & an empty prison to fill here on the coast. Our QR passport system goes LIVE 3:8/2022. From there it’s just weeks until Kate Brownshirt locks us down.

      3. How can you say masks and vaccines work when people that use either or both are still getting sick and some are still dying? Herd ammunity is the only thing that will work. And as with ANY virus each variant gets weaker just as it does with the flu. Wake the hell up, it is ALL about control of We the People. It is happening in many other countries. Look at Austrailia.

  2. Dang Barney, that was well written. I didn’t know you wrote articles too! I thought you were just the comment section guy. If I was a Democrat I’d be terrified right now after reading that. I think you did a great job for your target audience.

        1. They do know it. The ratio of dislikes to likes was 10:1 on YouTube mainstream liberal news videos. And if that isn’t enough, there are a pile of recent polls showing a dismal 20% of Americans think mainstream news is a trustworthy source of information. It’s a clown show and the gig’s up. Alt-middle information providers are exploding in viewership because people are fed up with getting played. I don’t read CNN to learn facts, I read it to keep a pulse on the agenda. If I want to know about covid, I go to Zdoggmd.

      1. Cases are one thing. Serious illness and deaths are another. The majority of those have not been fully vaccinated, authorities say, and there have been studies in recent weeks that show the booster reduces that risk. And the side-effects of the vaccines are thankfully rare but surely worth taking into account.

        1. So are you saying that serious illnesses are down ? Not according to the article above- as they are promising another surge and increased deaths… and you can’t blame the “fully vaccinated”- because there is no such as being fully vaccinated. As for side effects- the data continues to roll in: “Vaccination with mRNA-1273 (Moderna) was associated with a significantly increased rate of myocarditis or myopericarditis, especially among individuals aged 12-39 years,” the study said… “These reports led France, Denmark and other countries to advise against the jab for people under 30 years old.”… So why isn’t Oregon following the science here ?

          1. Canada just released a huge study on vaccine side effects. The results are significant. The study shows there is covid a risk threshold that below which, the risk of complications from vaccine is greater than risk of severe illness from covid. I’ll try to find the study.

                1. I trust the data- and it clerly shows that what Biden and Brown have advocated till now- is absolutely not working. India has shown promise- France has bailed on Moderna… at this point- herd immunity is taking hold- and this ultra-mild omicron virus will be the turning point- this will be over by next spring- unless Biden and Brown continue to muck things up.

            1. The vaccinations have their own risks- the biggest by far- is that there are no long term studies to verify that they are safe… and that matters to millions of folks- anyone challenging those concerns needs to put up or shut up. We all know now that the CDC no longer recommends the J&J vaccine- took over a year to confirm the hazards associated with that vaccine even though media outlets assured the American public that these vaccines were all safe- absolute hogwash- where are the retractions- apologies- self reflection ? Nope- arrogance prevails with these people.

              1. How many decades must these studies take for you to be satisfied? Or would you ever trust them anyway? And how many will die as a result?
                My questions are rhetorical. Yours are … something else. People can judge for themselves what’s hogwash.

      1. Yes… I went back and forth with Barney over this a couple of weeks ago when he, as a health expert, said the same thing. We still don’t know what Omicron will be like. I predict it will be hellacious at ERs and hospitals should be devising triage protocols now to only put the seriously ill in beds. The rest need to stay home. That sounds cavalier, but it is a numbers game when ERs fill up.

            1. We are not medical researchers. We will continue to report what the Oregon Health Authority and other reputable authorities state, here and around the world.
              One could argue the vaccine opponents are the ones spreading fear. Many have pleaded with us not to allow that to be spread here by anonymous commenters with no or very questionable links.

              1. These “reputable authorities” are stating a false narrative. Plain and simple. Do research. Don’t just regurgitate lies. You are a news agency that people look to for the truth. You are shaming your profession.

                1. You have many valid points- the relationship with CNN continues to dramatically tarnish this little news agency at the foothills of the Cascades- but someones gotta pay the bills !

                2. We pay for the CNN Wire service. They don’t pay us. We depend on advertisers and are doing well. Despite your total misunderstanding of how things works.

          1. I was being facetious, of course. My point was that you referred several times to ‘experts’ who predicted that Omicron effects would be relatively mild. The problem is, if you try, you can find ‘experts’ who will give opinions that are all over the map. The consensus is not arrived at for many months. There will be no consensus on Omicron for a few more months. But, many out there just latch on to a expert who fulfills their view of the world, even if it is fatally flawed. Your quoting of experts weeks ago that Omicron would have mild effects surely gave many readers an ‘out’ to not respond by getting vaxxed or boosted.

              1. And how successful has your mindset been to date ? Got any hard data proving this “pandemic” has run its course- that the world has defeated the deadly Wuhan virus ? Nah- didn’t think so.

              1. You are not a journalist Barney, not even close. You don’t write articles, you post articles written by others, and censor comments they tie your progressive line. You are the problem in this country Barney, because you have no ability to think critically, listen to others, and ask tough questions. You never question the vaccine because it goes against your party. The vaccine is not a vaccine by definition. You are just afraid to admit. What a coward. Go ahead, the best thing you can do with people whom you disagree with is let them speak, and let others read amd decide for themselves. Pathetic. Call yourself a journalist??? That is a joke right?

                1. I am a well-respected journalist among those whose opinions I appreciate. I do spend a lot of time working with young reporters to develop and craft their stories. And write some of my own. And spend lots of time reading this stuff (believe me, no one else will – I go, this system goes, almost certainly.)
                  Your criticism speaks volumes more of you than they do me. So the whole world is wrong in calling this a vaccine, only “your side” is telling the “real truth.”
                  Sorry, don’t buy it. This “coward” puts his real name on every post he makes here – heck, even on reddit. Those who put me down … well, folks can judge for themselves.
                  The vast majority of posts here make it through, though we are begged/pleaded by some in our community to further restrict or ban folks, by those who consider the comments from folks like you make it a “toxic waste dump.”
                  Have a great weekend and a Merry Christmas!

              2. Odd- “Journalist” is not what your job title states- why the denial of who and what you really are ? Just because you toast bread occasionally doesn’t make you a chef !

                1. Digital Content Director is my title. Journalism is my profession, has been since second grade, and many respect that. I don’t care what you think of me, because clearly you are wrong about me and my profession and the place I work.

        1. Speaking of numbers, our little Omicron is now believed to have a reproductive rate of 3-5, depending on where it’s been measured. That is HUGE. For contrast, the “highly contagious” Delta variant has an R-value of 1.2 – 1.4. The Omicron R-value is based on an incubation period of 5.5 days. So day one you have one infection. By day 5 you have 4 cases. Day 10 you have 16. Day 15, 64. Day 20, 256. Day 25, 1,000. One month, 4,000. Two months, 62 million cases per 5 day period which works out to… 12 million cases per day. Pandemic math!

              1. Do you Barney? Who says the CDC and WHO are credible anyways? You? That means nothing. YounorobBly went to Wikipedia to see if they was the case… journalist???? Haha… good one

                1. Our country funds and believes in the credibility of the CDC. Most of the world listens to the opinion of the WHO. But if Dr. Whoozit of internet Q fame with his medical degree from Panama says differently? Well, you’re the smart one of course,

        2. Barney’s a health expert ? Maybe this Barney (Me)- but the one deleting scientific research that says this: “Vaccination with mRNA-1273 (Moderna) was associated with a significantly increased rate of myocarditis or myopericarditis, especially among individuals aged 12-39 years,” the study said. “It said that vaccination with Pfizer was only associated with an increased risk among women.”… “The study published in the BMJ medical journal is the first to look at these side effects in an entire population.”… That other Barney is not to be confused with this Barney- I’ve kept an open mind and an eye on the data since day one- when this hogwash was being used to steal a Presidential election.

          These reports led France, Denmark and other countries to advise against the jab for people under 30 years old.

      1. I have seen nothing to suggest they are manipulating information. But it hardly matters. Omicron will be first hand experience soon enough. Bring on the cron! Get this over with.

        1. Indeed, based on what I am aware of, omicron may essentially act like an immunization: the prevalence doubles every 2.4 days, is relatively mild and in individuals who are vaccinated and then infected, immunity is better than vaccination alone. I’m speculating/guessing/wishful thinking that by May or June covid will clearly be no longer affecting us. But we have to go through 2-3 million infections per day. The question is if the hospital system and staff can handle this load? It seems boosters should be focused on those over 60 and those with risk factors and certainly not younger healthy people.

          1. CNN was forced to settle with Nicholas Sandman- and will do the same for Kyle Rittenhouse. Toss in the recent revelations of the scandalous behavior of the Bro’s Cuomo- and you would be hard pressed to believe anything your CNN throws at the viewers ! As for Russia-Russia-Russia… You will “never” live it down !

      2. It just may be so that South Africa is nearly a failed state. But what does that have to do with the skills of a medical professional who has nothing to do with the political state of the country?

      1. From the article: boosters for omicron “can be a matter of life or death.” and “Oregon has only a few weeks to take immediate steps to prepare for yet another deadly surge in our state”. Good grief Barney, the header says you are the one who prepared the story.

        1. Yes, I wrote it, and those are accurate quotes you can watch in the YouTube news conference videos. It notes that the Delta variant surge is not over, so those quotes are more about the better-known Delta impacts than what is coming with Omicron, which so far has had, as the expert says, a dramatically lower number of deaths thankfully.

          1. I agree that makes sense but that’s not what she said.

            “We have only weeks to prepare before Omicron hits our communities and health care systems in full force. Masks, vaccines, and the incredible efforts of our health care workers, public health partners, and National Guard members have seen us through the Delta surge. We will need to make the same statewide, collaborative efforts to see us through Omicron.

            “OHSU’s modeling shows that we have about a three-week window to prepare for this next surge. Boosters are our best protection against Omicron. Get your booster shot. Boosters work, and are incredibly effective at continuing your protection against this virus and hospitalization. If you aren’t yet vaccinated, now is the time. This can be a matter of life or death.”

            1. Well yeah it CAN be a matter of life or death! But in context, that sentence is about both variants I’m sure. It was noted during the news conference that the data scientist focused only on Omicron hospitalizations – not combining BOTH in his graph, which would have made for an even higher potential peak. (And more cries of fear-mongering I’m sure…)

            1. Yeh- it’s you- your boss- and your company that is driving unnecessary fear- you all really need to stop- mental health issues in the region can be directly linked to your gloom and doom reporting.

    1. Mild if you’ve got some sort of immunity. Also mild != easy, just that you’re probably not going to the hospital. Well, those of us with immunity aren’t. Good luck in the following months cuz we’re all catching this one.

      1. Yup- Joey Biden’s self made distribution crisis aside- stock up on chicken noodle soup and aspirin- then rejoice in your bodies natural ability to repair itself after a few days- and yer good to go till who knows when- probably years !

  3. Yep ..the left democrats agenda… To keep the fear mongering going on. So what’s next the transformer strain.. oh so scared. The OHA doesn’t educate any early treatment protocols… Just get more boosters… Ohh.. did you hear the OHSU doctor say on Browns press conference at noon… That the vaccinated population is getting infected. So the lie finally comes out.. the jab is junk… Just a experimental substance going in your body…Hey only 2 more strains before Christmas..LMBO…8-)

    1. Authorities have NEVER claimed the vaccinated were not getting infected. Which is why, of course, the mandates apply to vaccinated and unvaccinated. Every week, OHA’s release posted here lists “breakthrough cases” of vaccinated getting the virus, but also notes that the large majority of those hospitalized or who sadly have died are NOT vaccinated. But it greatly reduces the risk and the stats show it.

      1. Got my booster 10 days ago. Symptoms since then I have experienced increased heart rate, fatigue, and chest pains also skin rashes. I’m not a big believer in coincidence. Reconsidering if I made the right choice.

      2. I like you barney you put up with a lot of stuff you shouldn’t have to.

        But authorities well if you consider our president an authority. Which I do. Have said the shot will stop you from getting infected.

        During a July 2021 CNN town hall, U.S. President Joe Biden falsely stated that “You’re not going to get COVID

        1. The president’s misstatement of course will be used against him and every official until the end of time. Even if he corrected himself.
          Because some people are playing politics rather than going where the facts go.

          1. The difference on the president now is it’s the people prosecuting him not the media like the last president. If the media treated this president like the last he would be impeached. He cannot even read a prewritten speach without messing it up. Fact Barney.

        2. You’ll be told that this “Resident” made an oopsie- and deserves the benefit of a senior moment- whereas the previous President would joke about his own health and self medicating which the media scorched and bullied him over until his final days in office- pure hypocrisy that many are completely fed up with.

          1. Sometimes the worst thing the media can do is quote people accurately. Such as you, and … others. Then people can make up their own minds. Americans heard and saw the guy with their own eyes and ears, thanks the media he blasted as “fake news.” That made the difference, not the talking heads.

            1. But the media “never” quoted President Trump accurately- the headlines always portrayed that Trump “blasted- screamed- exploded” over… what ??? I would then watch the video- and all I saw was the guy making a statement- under control- calm-cool-collected- coherent ! The fake news called Nicholas Sandman and Kyle Rittenhouse racists- they declared Michael Avenatti worthy of a VP run- the guys now in jail ! Your talking heads (like Chris Cuomo) are disgusting pigs and have been for decades- how’d ya miss it ?

      3. What about blood clots? Or is that old news now. Just wondering if they are keeping track of that. Don’t bother answering Barney I know the answer to that question.

            1. Not MY narrative. Facts accurately presented from local and state officials whose names and reputations are on the line. There seems to be a whole lot of the stuff you say we shut down.
              So go discuss it somewhere else. Why are we one of the few media outlets in the state with comment systems still? Because many have decided the false or misleading “narratives” are the truly dangerous ones.

                1. You oughta know. And I’m deleting most of your offensive personal attacks. You should see what some people try to tell YOU! But I try as always to treat folks equally. Even you.

        1. The blood clot hazard was first identified through the VAERS data base and eventually- like a few days ago- resulted in J&J being publicly reprimanded by the CDC and is no longer being touted as a viable option for jabs- they are literally classified as “use at your own risk” !

          1. Perhaps the data you are looking is flawed. It simply doesn’t take into account the individuals overall health status. We know that the elderly-infirm-and those with multiple underlying conditions fare the worst- but what do the survivors have in common- it aint the jab- as we’ve seen even the vaccinated die.

              1. Nope- the terminology used by St Charles and the OHA says “not fully vaccinated”. Oregon has doled out more jabs than the population of the state that is able to get them-or wants them… that fact doesn’t jibe with your “vast majority” claim- the math don’t add up.

                1. Their math is consistent and adds up fine. Those who twist the facts for false allegations go nowhere – and when you personally attack ME morning noon and night, your comments get deleted without a second thought or care. Feel free to keep wasting your time or find someone who cares to complain to. I doubt it will be at our station. (Or pretty much anywhere else.)

                2. Really ? How do you know this- “Their math is consistent and adds up fine.” I’ve watched the roll out of their attempts to catch-up on the massive four month glitch that “hid” 550 deaths… they’ve cleared less than 1/2 that number. In fact- i looks like their glitch is back- just last wee- they were revealing deaths from way back in October ! Sorry- their math don’t add up- I’d like to see your evidence.

                3. Thankfully I don’t have to answer you or your twisted conclusions, just delete them if they are dangerous.
                  Interacting with trolls is a useless waste of time.

  4. Hope we find out about the more devastating effects, if any, of omicron quicker than we discovered one of the worst effects of delta – increased stillbirth rates and deaths of pregnant women that have just come to light since July. CDC has pregnancy listed as an underlying condition, just as detrimental as obesity, diabetes, etc.

    1. One news source says Om is mild, the next one says it’s bad for some people, they all say it’s contagious and it will be here soon. I’m hoping it’s a mild variant but I’m vaxed and prepared for whatever comes. The Om is a variant of a variant of a variant. Will the variant after this one (and there will be another) be as as “mild” or mutate into something we’ve not seen and aren’t prepared for?

      1. Most recently J&J vaccines were termed too hazardous for the general population (CDC)… How do you feel about being fortunate enough to have dodged that potentially deadly vaccine ? I think yer pretty damn lucky- you sure you want 9 year olds getting vaxxed now ?

  5. I would like full disclosure from Oregon Pers and these Supposed Officials on any and all of their investments in Pharmaceutical companies . Oregon PERS was involved in buying foreclosed homes during the housing collapse through Lonestar funding resulting in the breaking of Public employees oath of office to serve and protect the public.

        1. Yes, if you haven’t had the vaccine or haven’t finished the series, you aren’t considered fully vaccinated in St. Charles term and are considered “unvaccinated” by OHA and most others. From OHA:
          Overall, there have been 49,250 vaccine breakthrough cases identified in Oregon. The median age of breakthrough cases is 47 years (range: 11-106). 1,675 (3.4%) breakthrough cases were residents of care facilities, senior living communities or other congregate living settings. 11,534 (23.4%) cases were 65 or older. There have been a total of 1,396 (2.8%) cases aged 12-17. Breakthrough cases have been reported in all 36 counties. Cases of COVID-19 are much more common in unvaccinated4 individuals than in vaccinated individuals (Figure 1). The rate of COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated individuals in the most recent week was nearly 4 times the rate of COVID-19 cases among those who are fully vaccinated. Community spread remains elevated throughout the state and is particularly high in areas with lower vaccination rates. As COVID-19 cases have increased across Oregon, vaccine breakthrough cases have also increased, but at a much lower rate than in the unvaccinated. Vaccination remains the most effective tool to r spread of COVID19.
          4 Unvaccinated persons are defined as people who have not received an approved COVID-19 vaccine, or who have not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series.

      1. Not by the Omicron. And that is what we are discussing at the moment. I will continue to take my chances, because there is no cure for the, so called, vaccine and there is no evidence suggesting that there are no long term consequences of the mRNA

        1. Double-negatives are weak, in general. (“No evidence not.”)
          There are people who long before COVID never trusted any government, media (except ones that tell them what they want to hear), big business, etc. They have become louder, thanks to social media’s amplification, but IMHO no stronger in their claims.

  6. Can anyone explain why people are so scared of omnicron when all reports say people infected have mild symptoms?

    Also can anyone explain why vaccinated people are so afraid of unvaccinated. You got your shot and are “safe” regardless of weather the person next to you has had there shot. So why try and force others to do what you want?

    I really would like an educated answer to these questions I’m not trolling.

    I guess I just don’t see how the unvaccinated are effecting others at all. unless your waiting for a nose job or a tummy tuck and hospital is full of actual sick people. And if your in that category how about you let the doctors fix the people who need it instead of crying around about how you can’t have your elective surgery.

      1. You didn’t answer his question about the vaxxed being scared of the unvaxxed Barney they “should” be safe right? I know plenty of people getting surgeries through this whole thing. A friend of mine goes in tomorrow for knee surgery. Spare me your BS. NOT ONE person I know has been denied a surgery since this has started. Not saying it doesn’t happen but I would like to know the exact reasons it is happening.

                1. There are a lot of very qualified experts, not associated with the government, that are saying something very different and at great personal cost.

                2. Yes Barney- you spent four years quoting experts’ opinions on FISA Warrants- the Steele Dossier- all things Russian Collusion- the list is endless- now many of those people are either in jail- or headed that direction. Many now seriously question your “objectivity”.

                3. I doubt I EVER posted a comment on the stuff you cling to years later. It wasn’t as dangerous as current ongoing twisting-real-data-to-false-conclusions misinformation on COVID.
                  Did CNN wire accurately quote folks? Yes. But I wrote or edited none of it. You know better.

                1. I didn’t delete it. I responded to it. My profession is journalism, and has been for more than 50 years. Damn proud of it, every single day, despite the unfair untrue accusations.

        1. One of the biggest reasons are the mandates. Thousands of medical professionals walked awat from their careers. They would rather maintain their self dignity and civil rights than allow the bumbling and incompetent likes of Joey Biden and Nancy Pelosi to run it for them. The most recent jobs report highlighted the loss of medical pro’s- while jobs day waiting and window washing boomed out Sunriver way ! Quite the trade-off for our local community.

    1. Elective means it’s not urgent. Doesn’t mean it’s optional. It certainly doesn’t imply plastic surgury. And even if it did, about 90% are reconstructive procedures for accidents, burns, cancer and deformities.

    2. No vaccine is 100% effective. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines claimed 95%, Johnson & Johnson 70%. In the long run, most vaccines are about 70% and they have shown that the vaccines lose their effectiveness over time. So, if I am sitting next to a careless un-vaxed person, I could have a 30% chance of coming down with Covid. Maybe it could be mild, but for people with certain pre-existing conditions it could be fatal.

      1. Would you rather be sitting next to a jabbed- who is suffering through a breakthrough- a failed jab- or one that doesn’t realize the initial jabs only last two months ??? Do you really know what you are afraid of- besides your own shadow ?

  7. OK I guess I understand being worried because it is more contagious. That is scarey. I am scared and I do still take every precaution I can. No one can deny that this virus is extremely dangerous. I just don’t get the hate between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. I feel like each side has pretty valid reasons to either get the shot or not….

    I don’t mean to dismiss others who are in pain. I was able to get in to have my hernia repaired and it was a small one that rarely put me in pain. Also my mother in law was able to have a back surgery. So I was under the impression that people in pain were still getting what they needed and it was only really small stuff like cosmetic surgeries that are getting cancelled. So I apogize if I offended someone with that line.

    1. I do a lot of work with Sr Citizens- Hip surgeries in particular took a hit and many went as long as 9 months in severe pain as the bone on bone degenerative process made life for many unbearable. St Charles should be ashamed for their over-reaction to any and all of this nonsense. President Trump organized triage centers to free up the hospitals- Biden and Brown have done nothing but point fingers at the citizens… what kind of government is this anyway ?

  8. OK. So they keep repeating over and over on the news that its not serious, that the symptoms are a slight cough and body aches for a couple days. Sounds like something this 60 year old had a couple weeks ago. If people are really going to the hospital just for that then they are just doing it for the attention they get while they are there (Don’t laugh. My cousin actually does that and admits thats why she is doing it), or this is just more fear mongering.

  9. I’m curious if anybody reads news outside of the state.

    Global news indicates that there is an increase in cases (European Union) and imminent lockdowns. The Netherlands. France is closing their borders (UK) just for several examples.

    And yet the toxic negativity from multiple posters lay the blame on Joe, Kate etc etc

  10. We are proud of what we do. Folks can judge on their own who is pushing the “false narrative.”
    So is Don Lemon, Joy Redi, and Brian Stelter, and don’t forget mister Russia himself, Adam Schiff!

  11. The people who think they are”‘Silent’ “Majority'” that are all over this page, all of the time, is neither.

    Massive amounts of disinformation is posted by all of them, and it is so toxic the ACTUAL MAJORITY, THE MILLIONS MORE OF AMERICANS WHO VOTED FOR DEMOCRACY, just tune the insanity and hate out yet keep on voting as a Majority.

    Meanwhile, the echo chamber here is actually killing people.

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