Today, Oregon health officials issued a call to action to protect kids ahead of a post-holiday surge in serious respiratory illnesses that will worsen pediatric ICU bed shortages. This heightened recommendation is in response to the rapid spread of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza virus that have resulted in a dramatic surge of pediatric hospitalizations across Oregon.
In response to Oregon’s acute shortage of pediatric intensive care beds, state health officials recommend that people:
- Stay home when sick.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow, or with a tissue that you immediately throw away after use.
- Clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces, including doorknobs, faucets, chairs, countertops and tables.
- Regularly wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing into a tissue.
- Get a flu shot and stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, including new bivalent boosters. There is no vaccine for RSV.
- Consider wearing a mask in crowded indoor spaces.
State health officials are working with hospitals to bring additional nurses into Oregon from out of state. OHA officials also are pursuing health care volunteers through Serv-OR, the state’s emergency volunteer registry. In addition, OHA is providing hospitals with recent legislatively appropriated funds to aid staffing.
What does that mean for Coos Bay School District? It’s simple, if your child is sick, keep them home.
While school age children and school staff may not have the same risk of severe illness or hospitalization, respiratory disease spreads easily in school settings and students and staff can take the illness home to younger siblings and older family members who are at risk.