(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown held a press conference today to provide an update on the status of COVID-19 in Oregon, and to urge Oregonians to make a plan to get vaccinated. The Governor was joined by Dr. Renee Edwards, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, OHSU Health; Olivia Quiroz, Executive Director, Oregon Latino Health Coalition; Patrick Allen, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director; and Dr. Dean Sidelinger, State Epidemiologist, OHA.
“In the race between vaccines and variants, right now the variants have the upper hand,” said Governor Brown. “Today’s cases topped 1,000, with Oregon now ranking second in the nation for having the most rapid growth of infection spread. Our hospitals are about to surpass 300 positive COVID-19 cases. That means several counties are on the verge of having to reinstate Extreme Risk restrictions on businesses and activities.
“At this moment, we are moving backwards. Oregon needs to be moving forward. My goal is to get the state back on track to lift the restrictions this pandemic has forced upon us — I think we can get there by the start of summer, but we will all need to work together.
“In order to fully reopen our economy, we need to reach a significant majority of Oregonians with a vaccine; we need to close the equity gap in our vaccine efforts; and vaccine supplies need to be readily available for all eligible Oregonians who want to be protected. Vaccines are your best protection against the variants and the quickest way for us all to get back to the people and things we miss the most.
“That’s the hill on the horizon. We can climb it together. How quickly we get there is up to each and every one of us.”
A copy of the Governor’s prepared remarks from today‘s press conference is available here.
More information on vaccines is available at covidvaccine.oregon.gov.
- A recording of today‘s live-streamed press conference is available on YouTube. Please note the video starts at the 28:21 mark.
- A recording of a Spanish language translation is available on OHA’s Facebook page.
- An HD recording of today‘s press conference for members of the media is available on Vimeo.