Covid weekly report for Sept. 23: Salem-area cases rise

The number of Covid cases in Marion County increased slightly this past week while declining in Polk County. Meanwhile, hospitalizations increased locally and in the mid-Willamette region.


The average number of Covid patients at Salem Hospital and throughout the mid-Willamette region declined compared to last week.

As of Friday, Sept. 23, the hospital had 19 inpatients with Covid, two in the ICU and one on a ventilator. 

There were 375 of 415 adult acute and critical care beds in use, and 456 total hospital beds in use.

The hospital recently expanded its licensed bed capacity from 494 to 644 with the addition of a new tower, but that total includes every potential licensed bed at Salem Hospital including those dedicated to specific uses, like pediatrics, inpatient psychiatry, and labor and delivery.

Lisa Wood, Salem Health spokeswoman, said the number of hospitalized Covid patients over the past week has ranged between 14 and 20. Last week, Wood said the daily number was between 12 and 21 Covid inpatients.

Region 2, which is Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties, had 33 people hospitalized with Covid as of Sept. 21, compared with 26 the week prior and 29 two weeks ago.


The number of new Covid cases reported increased statewide and in Marion County, but decreased in Polk County. This data is for the week ending Sept. 20. 

Marion County: 58.7 new Covid cases per day on average, a rate of 118.4 cases per 100,000 residents.

That’s up from 42.1 average daily cases for the week ending Sept. 13 and 45.1 average daily cases for the week ending Sept. 7. 

10.5% of Covid tests this week were positive, up from 9.4% last week.

Polk County: 12.9 new Covid cases per day on average, a rate of 101.2 cases per 100,000 residents. 

That’s down from an average of 16 daily cases the week ending Sept. 13 and 16.1 daily cases the week ending Sept. 7.

9.6% of Covid tests this week were positive, down from 11.1% last week.

Oregon: 656.7 new cases per day on average, up from 572.4 average daily cases the week prior; 8.7% of tests positive, compared with 7.5% the week prior.


The Oregon Health Authority switched to a new data dashboard showing trends in cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status, updated on the second Wednesday of each month. The health authority will next update its data dashboard on Oct. 12.


Oregon’s mask mandate lifted on March 11 at 11:59 p.m. 

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.