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Action is required now’ – doctors urge immediate attention to masks, social distancing as Covid surges

Malheur County covid data as of Oct. 26. (The Enterprise graphic)

ONTARIO – The region’s medical system went blinking red Tuesday as coronavirus cases fill hospitals and doctors plead with people to reduce “needless suffering, needless deaths” by wearing face masks.

In a press briefing, top officials with the two hospital systems that serve Malheur County residents – Saint Alphonsus Medical Center and St. Luke’s Health System – joined other leading medical officials to warn that Covid cases are once again surging.

“We’re in a closing window of opportunity here to intervene,” said Dr. Jim Souza, St. Luke’s chief medical officer.

“We are not in crisis conditions – but we are very close,” added Dr. Steven Emerson, Saint Alphonsus chief clinical officer.

They were among signers to a joint letter issued Monday calling . . .