Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Friday ordered 500 National Guard members to help frontline workers in their battle against the expanding Covid-19 Delta variant.
Brown said the deployment would begin Aug. 20, when National Guard members will be sent to more than 20 hospitals statewide to help provide logistical support, materials handling, equipment deliveries, and Covid-19 testing.
Up to 1,500 National Guard members could ultimately be deployed, she said.
"The harsh, and frustrating reality is that the Delta variant has changed everything," Brown said in a statement. "Delta is highly contagious, and we must take action now."
Brown said 733 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized Thursday, including 185 in intensive care units.
The Oregon Health Authority reported 1,785 new cases and seven new deaths Friday as the nation experiences a spike in Covid-19 patients largely attributed to the more communicable Delta variant.
Brown urged state residents to get vaccinated.
“I know this is not the summer many of us envisioned, with over 2.5 million Oregonians vaccinated against COVID-19," she said. "The harsh, and frustrating reality is that the Delta variant has changed everything. Delta is highly contagious, and we must take action now."