For a brief moment on Wednesday this week, our Bend hospital had zero inpatients with COVID-19. It’s the first time we have hit that particular milestone since June 3 of last year. 

Although as of this morning our inpatient COVID-19 number was back up to one, it’s still a moment worth celebrating. 

We have come a very long way in our COVID-19 fight. 

At times it has felt like a never-ending battle. And while it isn’t over, I’m so very proud of our St. Charles team and our entire Central Oregon community for how we have come together to face this global pandemic. 

We have washed, we have masked and we have distanced – and will continue to do so – and these actions have undoubtedly saved lives. As our county risk levels decline and our worlds are opening back up, I have so much hope because of the most important tool in our COVID-19 fight: vaccinations. 

To date, along with our county public health and National Guard partners, we have given more than 50,000 COVID-19 vaccinations and are a leader in the state in terms of how many people we have vaccinated over the age of 65 per capita. 

While it is still too soon to draw any definitive conclusions, it appears our vaccine strategy is working. The average age of patients hospitalized at St. Charles Bend in March has declined compared with those hospitalized in January. This is a trend we hope to see continue as vaccinations become available to all Oregonians by May 1. 

My ask of you today, no matter your age or underlying health conditions, is that you pre-register for your COVID-19 vaccine. Visit and spend just two minutes completing the registration form. When you are eligible and we have a dose for you, we will send you a unique link to book your vaccine appointment.

Once you have pre-registered yourself, please share the link with others. Help us spread the word. If you are able, register those who don’t have access to a computer or need technical assistance. I am confident that just as we have pulled together to fight COVID-19, we will pull together as a community to ensure every eligible Central Oregonian who wants a vaccine is able to get one in the next few months. 

Thank you, as always, for your continued support. 


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