DATA: Hospitalizations up, new cases down in Marion and Polk counties

Andrea Davila, a nurse at the Kaiser Permanente North Lancaster clinic administers a test for COVID-19 at the clinic’s drive-thru testing site on Wednesday, April 29. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

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The number of people diagnosed with Covid weekly in Marion and Polk counties decreased slightly last week as hospitalizations rose, according to data released Thursday by Oregon Health Authority.

The two counties are collectively meeting three of five state goals for controlling the spread of the virus. The Salem area continues to trace most Covid cases – about 70% – back to a known source, higher than Oregon’s rate of about 60%.

Both counties also reported fewer new cases than in the previous week, and county contact tracers promptly reached nearly all people diagnosed.

But the percentage of positive tests in Marion County continues to rise, to about 7.3%, and hospitalizations also rose, OHA said. The percent of positive tests gives an indication of how widespread infection is in a community, as well as whether areas are doing enough testing. Marion County has persistently had a higher rate than Oregon since the pandemic began.

The state and county do not disclose hospitalization rates by county, citing privacy, though Marion County reports the number of people newly-hospitalized daily.

Polk County is individually meeting all five state goals, but Marion County’s much larger population and number of cases means the county’s trends drive the regions.

Here’s a look at the latest data.

(Graphic by Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

(Graphic by Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

(Graphic by Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

(Graphic by Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

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What information would you like to see in our weekly data report? Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.