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"I'm Worried About That Longer Term" Lane County Hospital Capacity

Centers For Disease Control

When Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a two-week “freeze” to help stop the spread of COVID-19 Friday, she mentioned concern about hospital capacity.

Some Portland-area hospitals have reduced elective surgeries as coronavirus cases surge.

Lane County Public Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Luedtke told KLCC he’s not concerned about local hospital capacity right now.

“I’m concerned for the long-term stress, because these hospital workers, hospital work is hard enough already, right, this is acute care. Tough things happen in the moment and people die.” Luedtke said. “But when you also include a pandemic and viral infections and all that extra gear you have to wear to stay safe, that’s wear and tear on humanity. So I’m worried about that longer term.”

Luedtke said Lane County hospitals in are in communication with public health and are preparing for more COVID-19 cases. He said the death rate for COVID-19 has been dropping as medical professionals better understand how to treat it. However, the long-term effects of the virus are still unknown.

Copyright 2020 KLCC. 

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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