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As a significantly higher COVID surge looms, hospital systems ask for your help

Get vaccinated and get boosted if you have not already done so
a person receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
Although omicron may cause a less severe illness, it is significantly more transmissible. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is encouraged. (Getty Images)

Current projections predict a significant spike in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations driven by the omicron variant beginning mid-January and likely peaking in February.  

Although omicron may cause a less severe illness, it is significantly more transmissible: The spike in hospitalizations is projected to two to three times the September peak driven by the delta variant – from a high of 1,200 patients in hospitals in September to 2,000 to 3,000 hospitalizations from omicron.

It is not too late to take action. Please do what you can to keep yourself, your family, your co-workers and your community safe. We are asking everyone to please get fully vaccinated, including a booster if eligible, wear masks, and avoid large indoor gatherings this holiday season.

Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, OHSU, PeaceHealth and Providence continue to do our part to address this public health crisis. We know our dedicated teams will once again do all they can to care for patients. 

But, after nearly two years of fighting this pandemic our nurses and doctors are exhausted. Clinical staff and hospital beds are in short supply in all of our hospitals. A significant increase in COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations in Oregon and Southwest Washington will create delays in emergency department care for some patients and additional delays for surgeries, due to the lack of an available staffed bed.

The omicron variant has been infecting some people who are already vaccinated. But the good news is people who are fully vaccinated and received a booster shot are less likely to be infected and much less likely to have a severe illness and hospitalization.

Again, if you haven’t been vaccinated and/or boosted, please do so now. Go to for information.

Each illness we prevent or reduce frees up health care resources for a loved one, friend or neighbor in need.

Wendy Watson, COO
Kaiser Permanente
Mary Giswold, MD, CMO
Kaiser Permanente
Trent Green, COO
Legacy Health
Seth Podolsky, MD, CMO
Legacy Health
Joe Ness, COO
Renee Edwards, MD, CMO
Richard DeCarlo, COO
Doug Koekkoek, MD, CPE
William Olson, COO
Steve Freer, MD, CMO
Previous Story Dec. 17 forecast: Omicron variant will eclipse delta surge Next Story Dec. 23 forecast: Omicron variant will drive wave of infections in Oregon
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