Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Second doses only for fairgrounds Covid vaccines

3 months ago

Need health insurance? Special enrollment period coming up

OregonHealthCare.gov is the state's online health insurance marketplace. (Screen grab)

Oregonians looking for health insurance will have the chance to get it during a special enrollment period that opens later this month.

The Biden administration announced that from Feb. 15 through May 15 Oregonians will be able to shop for health coverage and find help paying for it at HealthCare.gov.

According to a press release from the Department of Consumer and Business Services, 94% of Oregonians had health insurance before the Covid pandemic as a result of efforts to expand coverage. But as the pandemic took hold, thousands of Oregonians have lost jobs, income, along with their insurance.

Oregonians can begin browsing plans and eligibility at OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop. Insurance agents and community partner organizations across the state will also be around to help Oregonians apply for financial aid and pick plans. Oregonians who don’t receive health insurance from their job, the Oregon Health Plan or Medicare may qualify for help paying for coverage. Temporarily uninsured people can also sign up for coverage.

According to a press release, individuals making $51,040 or less per year, and families of four making $104,800 or less, may qualify for financial aid. Last year, more than seven in 10 Oregonians received financial aid, lowering the average premium to $145 a month.

-Jake Thomas

3 months ago

Salem man told police he set fire to city truck after cleaning meth pipe

A city of Salem car burned after a Salem man allegedly set fire to the front seat using hand sanitizer. (Courtesy/Greg Walsh)

A Salem man has been accused of setting two city vehicles on fire by pouring hand sanitizer out of his methamphetamine pipe on to the driver’s seat and lighting it.

Matthew Terrance Mungenast, 20, was charged with second-degree arson, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle and first-degree criminal mischief on Jan. 26.

On Jan. 10, Salem police officer Jeffry Gordon got a call there were two vehicles on fire on top of the Pringle Parkade on 399 High St., he wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

The interior cab of a Chevy Colorado was burnt to the metal flooring. A neighboring utility van was also burnt by flames with the estimated damage totaled at $45,000, the affidavit said.

Another officer found Mungenast under a bridge with live ammunition and a credit card from a city vehicle, the affidavit said. Mungenast had a warrant for his arrest for theft and was lodged in the Marion County Jail on that charge on Jan. 22.

When he was first interviewed on Jan. 12, Mungenast told officer Gordon his friend lit the fire with hand sanitizer.

Two weeks later, police interviewed Mungenast’s friend, who said he left the parking garage after the pair smoked meth together but was woken up a couple hours later by Mungenast saying he set fire to a car.

Mungenast told Gordon he broke the window of the truck, found a bottle of hand sanitizer and used it to clean out his meth pipe, according to the affidavit. He dumped the hand sanitizer from the pipe into the front seat and set it on fire, he told police.

Mungenast told Gordon as the fire got out of control, he tried to find a fire extinguisher to put it out. He told Gordon he broke open the fire hose lockers on the roof, the affidavit said.

Mungenast is being held at the Marion County Jail. 

-Saphara Harrell

3 months ago

Second dose Covid vaccines available at Salem fairgrounds this week

Syringes of the Pfizer vaccine during a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Thursday, Jan. 28. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Salem Health's Covid vaccine clinic at the state fairgrounds in Salem will be open this week for people to receive a second dose of the vaccine only.

The hospital won't be giving first doses of the Covid vaccine in Salem because the Oregon Health Authority didn't allocate doses to do so, the hospital said on its website.

That comes after Oregon Health Authority leaders said last week they would reallocate vaccines to allow counties behind in vaccinating health care workers to catch up.

Thirteen Oregon counties, including Polk, are receiving more doses this week to finish those vaccinations, according to documents from OHA, with a majority going to Multnomah County. Eighteen, including Marion, are receiving fewer.

Anyone who received a first dose of Covid vaccine at the fairgrounds in Salem should return there for a second dose 21 days later, even if they weren't eligible to receive the vaccine under state guidelines when they got their first dose, the hospital has said.

The clinic is open Monday, Feb. 1 through Saturday, Feb. 6 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for second doses.

The hospital is encouraging people to schedule an appointment for a second dose in advance on MyChart, its online health records system, though those who don’t have a MyChart account can show up when the clinic is open.

Salem Health is administering first and second doses of the Moderna Covid vaccine to eligible Polk County residents this week at its clinic on the Western Oregon University campus in Monmouth. The clinic is open to people who live in Polk County and are health care workers, first responders, teachers and child care workers. More information about clinic hours and eligibility is available on the hospital website.

Oregon is not yet vaccinating people based on age, but expects to begin vaccinations for those 80 and older next week.

-Rachel Alexander

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