Reports of new Covid cases decreased statewide and in Marion and Polk counties over the past week, while testing positivity rates continued to increase in Marion County.
In the past month, Gov. Kate Brown has issued several executive orders aiming to provide more resources to health care facilities amid a sustained surge of Covid, flu and RSV cases. Salem Hospital again began diverting ambulances to other hospitals due to capacity issues after Thanksgiving, a temporary practice that is used as needed to manage hospital capacity.
As of Friday, Jan. 6, Salem Hospital had 28 inpatients with Covid. Of those, six were in the ICU and three were on a ventilator.
403 of the 415 adult acute and critical care beds were in use, or 97%.
475 total hospital beds were in use on Thursday. 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.
The daily number of hospitalized Covid patients has been between 27 and 34 patients over the past week through Thursday, according to Lisa Wood, Salem Health spokeswoman. As of Thursday last week, the number was between 26 and 30.
Region 2, which is Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties, had 47 people hospitalized with Covid as of Jan. 4, compared with 55 the week prior and 42 two weeks ago.
For the week ending Jan. 4, the average daily number of new Covid cases reported decreased statewide and in Marion and Polk counties compared to the week prior.
Marion County: 31.4 new Covid cases per day on average, a rate of 63.4 cases per 100,000 residents.
That’s down from 38.7 average daily cases last week and 34.7 two weeks ago.
10.7% of Covid tests this week were positive, up from 9.7% last week and 7.1% two weeks ago.
The Oregon Health Authority reported five newly identified deaths of county residents with Covid in the past week.
Polk County: 8.9 new Covid cases per day on average, a rate of 69.7 cases per 100,000 residents.
That’s down from 10 average daily cases last week and 12 two weeks ago.
7.2% of Covid tests this week were positive, a decrease from 12.1% last week.
The Oregon Health Authority reported zero newly identified deaths of a county resident with Covid in the past week.
Oregon: 411 new cases per day on average, down from 472 average daily cases last week and 485 two weeks ago; 9.7% of tests were positive, down from 10.4% last week.
VACCINATION AND BREAKTHROUGH CASES
The Oregon Health Authority has a data dashboard showing trends in cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status, updated on the second Wednesday of each month.
The most recent data as of Dec. 5 shows Covid infection, hospitalization and death rates continue to be highest among Oregonians not vaccinated against Covid compared with those vaccinated as recommended, which includes a booster shot.
In October, the state recorded eight deaths with Covid per 100,000 unvaccinated adult Oregonians, compared to two deaths per 100,000 adults vaccinated as recommended. Hospitalization rates in October were 50 per 100,000 unvaccinated adults compared withto 18 per 100,000 vaccinated as recommended.
The data will next be published in mid-January.
Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-704-0355.
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Abbey McDonald joined the Salem Reporter in 2022. She previously worked as the business reporter at The Astorian, where she covered labor issues, health care and social services. A University of Oregon grad, she has also reported for the Malheur Enterprise, The News-Review and Willamette Week.