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Oregon, Colorado Respond to Rise in Respiratory Illness

Oregon and Colorado have taken action to provide flexibility and support for health care providers amid a steady increase of adult and pediatric cases and hospitalizations due to respiratory viruses — including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, and COVID-19.

In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown (D) expanded flexibility granted to hospitals in a previous executive order, which will ensure there are enough health care workers to meet current needs, including allowing providers to draw on medical volunteers. In addition to the governor’s executive order, the Oregon Health Authority is pursuing supplemental nurse staffing contracts of up to $25 million to help address critical workforce shortages.

In Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis (D) amended the current COVID-19 disaster declaration that includes RSV, influenza, and other respiratory illnesses to continue state agency access to state and federal funding for recovery efforts. Additionally, the amendment expands the scope of practice for medical professionals to allow additional flexibility to treat patients and to make beds and providers available for pediatric patients.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Faridat Animashaun is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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