Portland, OR

Portland Daily Round Up: COVID-19 hospitalizations for children at all-time high, Red Cross urges people to donate blood

Emily Scarvie

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By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Tuesday, Jan. 11 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. COVID-19 hospitalizations for children at all-time high in Oregon

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Oregon due to the highly transmissible omicron variant, hospitalization rates among children are the highest they’ve been at any other point during the pandemic. According to Dr. Carl Eriksson, of OHSU, there were 19 children hospitalized with COVID-19 in Oregon as of Jan. 10.

“It’s not a very high number but keep in mind that it is relatively uncommon for children to be hospitalized. It is a number that we are watching very closely,” Eriksson said. “We’re seeing a combination of kids who have severe COVID infection and are very sick with COVID itself, that’s at the severe end of the spectrum. At the milder end of the spectrum is maybe somebody who has COVID and it’s either caused an exacerbation of an underlying chronic illness or sometimes is actually asymptomatic.”

Eriksson said he’s concerned that more Oregon children will require hospitalization as cases continue to rise. He said the most effective ways to stay safe are getting vaccinated, masking up and avoiding large crowds.

2. Red Cross, OHSU call on eligible Oregonians to donate blood amid national blood crisis

Officials with the American Red Cross and Oregon Health and Sciences University are calling on eligible Oregonians to donate blood amid a “dangerously low blood supply” that’s posing a danger to hospital patients across the country. According to the Red Cross, blood supply levels are so low that doctors are being forced to choose which patients get blood transfusions.

“It’s a dire situation,” a spokesperson with the Red Cross Cascades Region said. “Our inventory is truly at crisis levels.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a 62% decline in blood drives at schools and college campuses, and nearly 10% less people have donated blood overall, according to the Red Cross.

Those eligible to donate are urged to make an appointment in advance with the Red Cross. They’re also looking for volunteers to help during blood drives. To volunteer, click here.

3. Armed robbery suspect taken into custody after car chase, crash

Following a car chase and crash in northeast Portland on Tuesday morning, an armed robbery suspect was taken into custody by police. According to the Portland Police Bureau, Clark County deputies received a 911 call reporting an armed robbery at the Semar Clinic in Vancouver.

The suspects left after the robbery, but the victim was able to describe the car to police. The car was spotted later by officers, who attempted to stop it, but the driver took off, heading south into Portland. The car eventually crashed near Lombard Street and Commercial Avenue.

A suspect was taken into custody by Portland police following the crash. North Lombard was closed from Kerby to Williams for an investigation but has since reopened.

4. Portland Rose Festival to return May 27 with fireworks, music

Officials announced this week that the 2022 Rose Festival will begin May 27 with “the biggest, baddest fireworks in town.” The festival’s opening night festivities will begin at 6 p.m. The band Hit Machine will perform a full concert to “warm up the crowd” before the fireworks show after dark.

The Rose Festival operated in a limited capacity in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the festival and parade series are expected to return this year. For more information, click here.

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