Over the past two weeks, hospitals in the Columbia River Gorge and surrounding
communities have seen a rapid, unexpected influx of seriously ill or injured
patients. At the same time, we are all experiencing the same shortage
of nurses and support staff that is affecting hospitals of all sizes and
locations across the country. Combined, these issues have created a critical
Unfortunately, since local and metro hospitals are dealing with the same
issues, transferring or referring patients to open up bed space is not
always an option. As a result, Mid-Columbia Medical Center has activated
its Emergency Operations Plan.
As part of that plan, when necessary, we will divert ambulances, divert
labor and delivery, and postpone or cancel surgical cases:
When ambulances are diverted local residents who are transported by ambulance
may not be taken to the hospital nearest their home; they will be takento the closest hospital that has the capacity to care for them at that time.
- Expectant moms in labor should call the MCMC First Impressions Birthing
Center at 541-296-7210 to pre-check in before coming to the hospital.
In an emergency, please go straight to the closest emergency room.
- Elective surgeries requiring an overnight stay are already being postponed
on a case-by-case basis. You will be notified if your scheduled surgery
must be postponed.
We will never turn away a patient in need who arrives at the hospital,
but what that means right now is that wait times in the Emergency department
are much longer than usual.
We all need to do our part to prevent illness and ensure there are hospital
beds available to provide life-saving care to those who need it in our
community. The most important and helpful thing you can do is to get vaccinated
for COVID-19. The vaccine greatly reduces the potential for severe illness
and the need for hospitalization.
If you have other health issues, do not put off seeing your physician for
needed care. Delaying care can have serious health consequences. Routine
care is also essential, so if you are due for a routine physical, please
call your provider and schedule one today.
As a reminder, MCMC’s Immediate Care is located at Water’s
Edge is open 10 am – 8 pm. No appointment needed.