HEALTH CARE

Covid weekly report for Jan. 13: local cases increase

Reports of new Covid cases increased in Marion and Polk counties over the past week, and decreased statewide.

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.

HOSPITAL CAPACITY

As of Friday, Jan. 13, Salem Hospital had 32 inpatients with Covid. Of those, five were in the ICU and three were on a ventilator.

405 of the 415 adult acute and critical care beds were in use, or 98%.

480 total hospital beds were in use on Friday. 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 22 and 32 patients over the past week according to Lisa Wood, Salem Health spokeswoman. Last week, the number was between 27 and 34. 

Region 2, which is Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties, had 39 people hospitalized with Covid as of Jan. 11, compared with 47 the week prior and 55 two weeks ago.

CASES

For the week ending Jan. 11, the average daily number of new Covid cases reported increased in Marion and Polk Counties, and decreased statewide compared to the week prior.

Marion County: 32.3 new Covid cases per day on average, a rate of 65.1 cases per 100,000 residents.

That’s up from 31.4 average daily cases last week and down from 38.7 two weeks ago.

9.8% of Covid tests this week were positive, down from 10.7% last week and up from 9.7% two weeks ago.

The Oregon Health Authority reported four newly identified deaths of county residents with Covid in the past week.

Polk County: 9.6 new Covid cases per day on average, a rate of 75.4 cases per 100,000 residents. 

That’s up from 8.9 average daily cases last week and down from 10 two weeks ago.

10.9% of Covid tests this week were positive, an increase from 7.2% last week.

The Oregon Health Authority reported zero newly identified deaths of a county resident with Covid in the past week.

Oregon: 347 new cases per day on average, down from 411 average daily cases last week and 472 two weeks ago; 8.7% of tests were positive, down from 9.7% last week.

VACCINATION AND BREAKTHROUGH CASES

The Oregon Health Authority has a data dashboard showing trends in cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status. 

The most recent data as of Dec. 25 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 with 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.