PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - For the third day straight, the Oregon Health Authority reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases.
On Sunday, OHA said 1,517 people were either positive for COVID-19 or presumed to have the virus.
The serious nature of the trend is reflected in some of the state’s largest healthcare systems, which are seeing a steady increase in patients with the coronavirus.
A spokesman from Providence Health said they have 99 COVID-19 patients across eight hospitals, as of Sunday afternoon. That’s up 9 percent from 90 patients on Friday and nearly double the amount from just one and a half weeks ago.
Sunday, OHSU also reported a small bump in the number of COVID patients.
Legacy Health, however, reported slightly fewer COVID-19 patients than Saturday, but like all hospitals across the metro area, it’s seen a sharp spike since earlier this month.
According to OHA, regional ICU beds are nearly 90 percent full.
Still it’s not necessarily unusual for hospitals to operate near capacity.
Providence told FOX 12 that it’s normal for it to be between 70 and 90 percent full this time of year.
Positive case rates are soaring in Multnomah County, making for a grim, renewed urgency to make sure there’s enough storage space for victims who won’t survive.
“The state is constantly monitoring how full all of our morgues are,” said Rachel Essig, the executive director of River View Cemetery and Funeral Home.
Essig said her funeral home has taken in more COVID-19 victims in recent months but it hasn’t put a strain on their capacity.
“The worry I have is that is if the entire system is overloaded,” Essig said. “That’s a big worry.”
Providence last week announced it will provide mobile morgues at two of its hospitals.
In these never-ending uncertain times, November remains a big question mark on what feels like the edge of a cliff, and come December, Oregon could be pushed to the very brink.
"I really encourage everyone to wear a mask, please wear a mask,” Essig said. "I really don’t want in my funeral home if it’s not your time."
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