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By Jenny Goldsberry
Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced a state-wide mask mandate Tuesday. Now, Brown expects all Oregonians, vaccinated or otherwise, to wear masks indoors and outdoors. The mandate will go into effect Friday.
“Today we have 1,000 COVID-19 patients in our hospitals,” Brown tweeted along the announcement. “I’m continuing to take actions to protect Oregonians and save lives.”
According to Brown, the high caseload of the COVID-19 Delta variant is overwhelming local hospitals. “In some cases, hospitals are having to put patients in hallways,” she said. This was a result that state Rep. Daniel Bonham (R) warned about over the weekend.
“With forced vaccination mandates – what will be the impact to our quality of health care, law enforcement & education when we are already short handed?” Bonham tweeted before the announcement. “Governor Brown must know that we will lose employees in these sectors. What’s the plan to backfill those positions?”
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Tina Kotek (D) has remained silent on the issue, seemingly agreeing with the move. Oregon’s federal representatives, four of whom are Democrat with one Republican, haven’t made comments either. Their senators as well are silent.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.
College to begin offering abortion pill on campus
Barnard College, a partner campus of Columbia University, will be rolling out a plan in May that involves supplying students with abortion pills, the Columbia Spectator reported. The plan to provide the abortion service in the form of mifepristone abortion pills to students was initially announced in the fall of 2022 after the overturning of Roe. V Wade, according to the Spectator. However, the rollout’s delay has been partially attributed to an August 2023 grant the college received, which allowed Barnard to join a large network of primary care providers that will help steer the college through the procedures.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reports Barnard’s Primary Care Health Service will host student focus groups in upcoming weeks to find out student perspectives about the service and to identify new ways to support students considering abortion. “We wanted to make sure that we’re addressing this from every angle that will be supportive of students,” Sarah Ann Anderson-Burnett, director of Medical Services and Quality Improvement of Barnard, told the Spectator. Anderson-Burnett also said it has expanded the availability of its abortion providers to after-hours and year-round.
Barnard has six medical professionals, including two physicians and four nurse practitioners, who are capable of performing the procedure, Mariana Catallozzi, vice president for Health and Wellness and chief health officer of Barnard, told the Spectator. The school also launched a partnership with AccessNurse, a medical call center that will assist with patient concerns related to abortions.
“The training doesn’t end with the clinicians,” Anderson-Burnett told the Spectator. “Clinicians are trained on the actual provision, but there’s also an overall training that will be provided to key partners and stakeholders across the campus because we want every step, every touchpoint, to be supportive and to be trauma-informed and to be patient-valued and centered but also respect confidentiality and privacy.”
The University of Massachusetts Amherst spent more than $650,000 to stock abortion pills in March 2023 at the request of Democratic Maryland Gov. Maura Healey. Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill in May 2023 forcing college in the state to stock abortion pills on campus.
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