Key data shows curve starting to flatten for Oregonians sick with COVID-19

Meals on Wheels line cook James Lopez racks up meal portions for the next day’s delivery on Tuesday, April 14. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

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Oregon’s latest COVID-19 data shows room for cautious optimism. Day over day, fewer people are falling ill, though state and local health officials have cautioned we’re far from being able to resume normal life.

Salem Reporter has compiled key data on COVID-19 cases in the Salem area and how it compares to the rest of the state. This data is current as of April 17, 2020.

We plan to publish updated data at least weekly during the pandemic.

People who began feeling ill in the past 10 days may not yet appear on this graph, but statewide data suggests the number of people getting sick with COVID-19 is falling, a good sign.

Marion County data shows the day a person tested positive for COVID-19, but not when their symptoms began, making their data a less clear picture of when people are actually getting sick.

Salem Health began reporting COVID-19 patient data for Salem Hospital twice weekly in late March. Over the past week, the number of patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases has fallen, as has the share of hospital beds occupied.

Statewide, 311 Oregonians were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 as of April 14.

Of Marion County’s 317 residents confirmed to have COVID-19, 75 have been hospitalized at some point during their illness, about the same rate as the rest of Oregon. Salem Hospital’s patients are counted in their county of residence, so not all hospital patients are Marion County cases, and Marion County patients may be hospitalized elsewhere.

While deaths in Marion County and across Oregon have been mostly among elderly residents, Salem-area cases have been spread across adults. The county has not released an age breakdown for those hospitalized with the illness.

Oregon has shipped needed protective equipment to counties based on population and the number of people with COVID-19. County emergency management departments then distribute the equipment to local providers and agencies who need it.

After a large shipment to all 36 Oregon counties on April 13, the state stockpile was completely depleted, according to the state’s daily COVID-19 report. Nothing has been shipped since then. County health officials and Salem Hospital have said the shipments are helpful, but fall short of what is needed.

What local data would you like to see? Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.