Statement from MCMC as Emergency Operations Plan is Activated

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 situation.

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.