Katrina Rothenberger, incident commander, stands in the COVID-19 incident command at the Marion County Health and Human Services office on Monday, July 13. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

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Marion County saw a sharp increase in the number of residents diagnosed with Covid in the past week, even as hospitalization rates stayed flat.

The percentage of tests for the virus coming back positive also increased, a sign the virus is more widespread in the community.

Both trends will make it more difficult for local schools to reopen. Marion County added 335 new cases of the virus to its tally in the past week, about 10 times the number needed to meet Gov. Kate Brown's criteria for reopening schools.

About 11% of county tests recorded in the past week were positive, according to a Salem Reporter analysis of the county's published data. That rate needs to be at 5% or below for schools to resume in-person classes.

Polk County is faring better, recording 36 new cases of Covid in the past week. But the percentage of positive tests is also increasing to about 7% in the week ending Aug. 15, according to Oregon Health Authority numbers released Thursday. Hospitalizations in Polk County were also flat.

Here are this week's numbers for both counties.

(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.