A check in station outside the back entrance to the Salem Health clinic on South River Road, where patients with a doctor's referral can get tested for COVID-19 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

The total number of employees at Salem Health who have tested positive for COVID-19 is 27, according to a statement from the health care provider released Thursday.

“With a workforce of over 5,200, this represents an incident rate of 0.5% of all Salem Health employees,” the company said in a statement.

On Wednesday, a weekly report from the Oregon Health Authority put the number of infections at Salem Hospital, operated by Salem Health, at 15.

Staff who have tested positive or have had an expected exposure have been directed to self-quarantine, the company said. Salem Health has also implemented safety protocols including requiring all employees and visitors to wear masks. Visitation has been restricted and there are screening points for all staff, patients and visitors, according to Salem Health.

Staff are also required to wear eye protection in addition to their mask any time they are within six feet of any patient while caring for them for 15 minutes or longer.

Beginning Monday, COVID-19 testing will be available for all employees.

Salem Health said some staff have been infected through community transmissions. Jenna Wyatt, spokeswoman for Marion County Health & Human Services, said that Salem Health conducts its own contact tracing.

The Oregon Health Authority began reporting workplace outbreaks in May.

On Thursday, the agency reported 124 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases and two deaths. Of those, four were in Marion County and two were in Polk County.

The two deaths were both in Marion County. The first death was an 83-year-old man in Marion County with underlying conditions who tested positive on June 18 and died June 23, in his residence. The second death was also an 83-year-old man in Marion County with underlying conditions who tested positive on June 18 and died June 23, in his residence. 

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Contact reporter Jake Thomas at 503-575-1251 or [email protected] or @jakethomas2009.