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'It is time to consider these measures': Oregon Association of Hospitals president advocates for shelter in place

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who has heard concerns from businesses and is supported by county public health leaders, is resisting.

PORTLAND, Ore. — As each day passes, the numbers of people sick with COVID-19 grows.

Hospitals expect they will need a few more beds next week than they have now and many more in three weeks.

“We have several concerns. As we look at what is a potential hospital surge would look like. We have concerns around physical capacity -- having bed space. We have concerns over personal protective equipment and we have concerns about staff,” said Becky Hultberg, President and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.

The group represents 62 acute care hospitals across the state.

Hultberg wants the strictest lockdown possible right now.

“I have not seen any comments by government officials around the world who have said that they acted too quickly. But we have heard a lot of comments from governments who wish they had done more and done more sooner. So our message right now is it is time to consider these measures,” she said.

But Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who has heard concerns from businesses and is supported by county public health leaders, is resisting.

“I have already restricted Oregonians significantly. It is critically important that we all follow these guidelines to protect ourselves and our neighbors. Literally it is a matter of saving lives. We are not moving forward at this time with a shelter in place directive,” she said.

RELATED: Gov. Brown: State not moving to shelter in place order -- for now

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