If you’re a regular reader of St. Charles’ monthly e-newsletter, you know that in this space I usually spend a few million pixels talking about something that’s happening at the health system – an exciting new service, important community partnerships, our incredible caregivers, goals for the future.

And more often than I’d like over the past year and a half: the COVID-19 pandemic.

This month is going to be different, however. This month, I want to point you to the other things in this newsletter, just in case you skipped over them. They’re that important.

  • Read this article about the significant issues our hospitals are facing right now with regard to patient capacity, and how some of the cascading effects of the pandemic brought us to this point.
  • Watch this video, which features our infectious disease expert, Dr. Cynthia Maree, answering questions about the ultra-transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19, which is now the dominant strain of the virus in Central Oregon.
  • Plan to attend our virtual town hall at noon on Tuesday, Aug. 10, where health system leadership will talk about the many challenges we are facing. This is happening on Facebook Live, but anyone can attend and all are invited. Click here to attend.

Last but certainly not least, I want to urge you to get vaccinated if you are not already, and to wear a mask in indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces, even if you are vaccinated. Remember: You got vaccinated to protect yourself. Now, you wear a mask to protect those who are not vaccinated – including our children.

I’m sure that you are ready to be done with this pandemic. So am I. But it is not done with us, unfortunately. Please stay informed, stay safe and know that we here at St. Charles are doing everything we can to navigate this and serve our communities.