By News-Register staff • 

Use health care resources wisely, providers urge


Local health care workers are tired and the health care services are "strained," so they are asking members of the public to consider the level of care they need before calling emergency services or going to a clinic or the hospital.

"Support health care workers by seeking the appropriate level of care during this time," said Cooper Fisher, communications specialist for Willamette Valley Medical Center.

He issued a news release on behalf of the hospital, local urgent care clinics and doctors' offices, and the McMinnville Fire Department, which provides ambulance and EMT services.

The agencies and providers are concerned because their services have been strained by the continuing high rate of COVID-19, Fisher said. "Oregon and Yamhill County have seen a rapid acceleration of COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks, even reaching an all-time high across our state," he said.

Locally, he said, "we are doing everything we can to manage the ongoing needs of our community."

But health care services, like services across the board, are experiencing high levels of staff shortages. In every profession, some people are out sick or taking time off to care for ill family members, but a strain on remaining workers.


The community can help by conserving medical resources so they can be used for those with the highest needs.

"Each of us must do our part to protect ourselves and the community," Fisher wrote.

The health care providers are asking that community members get COVID vaccines and boosters; follow CDC guidelines for wearing masks and social distancing at all times, including when visiting medical offices; and use telehealth visits to see their doctors remotely, when appropriate.

For non-emergency conditions or symptoms that can't be take care of by phone or Internet, health care providers suggest that people use their primary care provider during regular hours. Primary care providers know your medical history, and can help with common colds and flu, upset stomachs, high blood pressure, diabetes, routine care and vaccines, and prevention.

Urgent care clinics can help with immediate needs or situations that occur after normal business hours. Worsening cold and flu symptoms, allergies, skin or ear infections and minor injuries or cuts can be treated at these walk-in clinics.

For emergencies such as symptoms of heart attack or stroke or other life-threatening condition, don't hesitate to call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Emergency patients will be screened for fever and other symptoms that might indicate COVID when they arrive, to prevent the spread of infection.

For more information, call the hospital non-emergency line, at 503-472-6131, the fire department's non-emergency office number at 503-435-5800, or individual medical providers.





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