the Oregon National Guard will distribute approximately 395,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to all long-term care facilities across Oregon, Governor Kate Brown announced Monday.
The distribution, which includes masks, gloves, and face shields, is aimed to immediately supplement efforts by the Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority to support facilities by helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 to residents and staff.
“The staff of Oregon’s long-term care facilities are on the front lines of our fight against COVID-19, and I am committed to protecting their health and safety,” said Governor Brown. “This critical equipment will help protect both them, and the residents of these facilities, who are among the most at-risk Oregonians for exposure and infection.
Governor Brown went on to thank the National Guard members for their “tireless” efforts in making this rapid distribution of personal protective equipment possible.
The shipments of PPE to Oregon’s long-term care facilities include approximately 177,000 surgical masks, 127,000 gloves, 55,000 N95 masks, 33,000 face shields and 2,500 gowns. Members of the Oregon National Guard began deliveries of this equipment Saturday.
“Long-term care providers across the state have been in dire need of personal protective equipment to ensure that our caregivers can follow best practices for infection, prevention, and containment,” said April Diaz, vice president of clinical services for Marquis Companies. “We are grateful to all those involved in acquiring these much needed resources for Oregon’s long-term care facilities.”
Seniors and those with underlying medical conditions are at much higher risk for serious repercussions or death from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus. For that reason, the news of confirmed cases of the disease in a care home is something many in Canby had hoped to avoid.
Unfortunately, the first outbreak of COVID-19 in a local care home were confirmed by the Canby Now Podcast Monday.
Canby Fire District and other agencies involved in the local response met and reviewed protocol with all of the city’s long-term care facilities in the early stages of the global outbreak.
And, more recently, the city’s care homes were praised for their prompt and diligent attention to strict lock-down procedures and other infectious disease prevention guidelines now in effect statewide.
Despite the efforts, the virus has already exacted a heavy toll on Oregon’s long-term care facilities. As of April 14, 32 of the state’s 55 deaths were linked to senior care homes.
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