oregon health authority

Pool photo / Courtesy of UW Medicine

The initial deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to Oregon, Washington state and Idaho are spoken for — at least well into next month. High-risk health care workers, EMT/paramedics and nursing homes have top priority to get the vaccine jab. But then who?

Courtesy Jo Arlow

It stands to reason that all the stress, anxiety and isolation of the pandemic could lead more people to take their own lives. But newly obtained data for Oregon and Washington show this is one bad thing that 2020 has not delivered.

Anna Boiko-Weyrauch / KUOW file photo

Since early in the pandemic, rapid contact tracing has been considered one of the keys to controlling the spread of the coronavirus. But in recent weeks, an overwhelming surge in new cases has let thousands of COVID-positive people and their close contacts fall through the cracks.

Derek Wang / NW News Network

As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, it's now increasingly apparent that 2020 will be remembered for an unusually high death toll -- not just from COVID-19. In the medical field, deaths above what you would normally expect are called "excess deaths." Even after you subtract out COVID-19 casualties, many thousands more Oregonians, Idahoans and Washingtonians have gone to an early grave this year compared to a typical year.

Courtesy of Susan Weber

The carefully followed death toll from COVID-19 may not fully capture the loss of life during the pandemic. Analysis of state and federal statistics for deaths from all causes shows hundreds of additional deaths above normal levels this spring in the Pacific Northwest. Some or many of those may actually be missed COVID deaths.

Dr. Lesley Ogden and Chris Lemar stand beside the backup generator at Lincoln City's new hospital, which is mounted on a shock-absorbing rack to protect against an earthquake.
Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The state of Oregon is pushing the community hospitals along the Oregon Coast to improve their earthquake resilience. This comes after a state report predicted none of them would be able to sustain operations after the feared Big One -- a magnitude 9 offshore Cascadia earthquake and tsunami.

Hospitals in Washington state were called out too, in a separate report by that state's government. The challenge is inspiring some creative thinking about how these hospitals might secure extended emergency power and water.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen said more bad news could be coming for the agency he’s led since August. Allen made the statement to a legislative panel in Salem Monday, but he gave no details of what the revelations could be.

Cacophony / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/jk2a8tl

An Oregon legislative panel came up empty Monday in its efforts to grill three former Oregon Health Authority employees. The committee wanted to ask about their role in a plan to discredit an Oregon health care nonprofit.

Oregon Lawmakers Gather For Interim Meetings

Sep 15, 2017
Joe Wolf / Flickr - tinyurl.com/z8o86qr

Oregon lawmakers are returning to the Capitol Monday for a three-day flurry of meetings. It’s the first round of “Legislative Days” since the 2017 session adjourned in July.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Supporters of a proposal to cover the medical costs of all Oregon children rallied at the state Capitol Friday. A pair of bills under consideration in Salem—HB 2726 and SB 558—would extend Oregon Health Plan coverage to include kids who are in the country illegally.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The Oregon Health Authority has a lot on its plate. It arranges medical care for low income people, operates the state's mental hospitals, and even oversees the medical marijuana programs.

Counties across the Northwest that are heavily dependent on timber revenue from federal lands have been struggling to provide public health services.

CDC

Oregon lawmakers want to make parents think twice before deciding not to have their kids immunized. The Oregon Senate Thursday approved a measure that would add steps to the way parents can opt out of the requirement.

The Oregon Health Authority says more than six percent of children enter kindergarten without the required number of vaccinations. It has been the highest highest rate in the nation, and it's been climbing.