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COVID-stricken Oregon deploys National Guard to hospitals

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s governor said Friday she will send up to 1,500 National Guard troops to hospitals around the state to assist healthcare workers who are being pushed to the brink by a surge of COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant.

Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, said the first group of 500 Guard members will be deployed next Friday to serve as material and equipment runners in the most stricken hospitals and to help with COVID-19 testing, among other things. Troops will be sent to 20 hospitals around Oregon.

There are 733 people hospitalized with the virus in Oregon as of Friday, including 185 people in intensive care units — more than 60 people more than just a day before and nearly double what the number was two weeks ago.

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