Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Covid vaccines available in Woodburn

February 9, 2021 at 5:32pm

Snow expected in Salem starting Thursday night

Kids play in the snow at Aldrich Park in Salem on Feb. 5, 2019 (Caleb Wolf/Special to Salem Reporter)

Salem could see snow later this week, the National Weather Service in Portland said in a winter storm advisory Tuesday.

There could be rain and snow Thursday night as the temperature is predicted to drop to a low of 26 degrees.

The National Weather Service said there could be one to four inches of snow and one to two-tenths of an inch of ice in the central Willamette Valley.

Drivers should plan on slippery roads that could impact their evening or morning commute Friday.

The rest of the weekend is expected to stay chilly, with snow showers likely Friday morning and the high forecasted to reach 32 degrees. There’s also a chance of snow on Saturday and Sunday, according to NWS.

-Saphara Harrell

February 9, 2021 at 1:37pm

Twelve Oregon counties move to looser Covid restrictions, but Marion, Polk aren't among them

Marco Ristorante Italiano is offering takeout orders at its downtown restaurant. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

Salem restaurants will have to continue offering takeout only even as a dozen other Oregon counties will be able to loosen Covid restrictions this week.

Though local Covid diagnoses are falling, both Marion and Polk counties remain in the "extreme risk" category based on the past two weeks of recorded Covid cases, according to data released by Gov. Kate Brown's office Tuesday. It's the highest risk level of four possible categories.

To loosen restrictions, each county would have to record fewer than 200 new Covid cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period and have fewer than 10% of Covid tests come back positive. Both Marion and Polk counties are meeting the testing target, but still recording too many cases. Each saw 288 cases per 100,000 residents in the two weeks ending Feb. 6, a decrease from rates in early January.

All three Portland Metro counties cleared the threshold this week to move from extreme risk to high risk. At that level, restaurants can reopen limited indoor dining at 25% capacity or a maximum of 50 people, and gyms can allow up to 25% capacity inside.

-Rachel Alexander

February 9, 2021 at 12:45pm

Zoom panel Wednesday to discuss ways Salem is addressing homelessness

Matt Herbert offers a man a sleeping bag during the annual point in time count on Jan. 26, 2021. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

Join the League of Women Voters Wednesday evening as they update the Salem community on projects and programs in place to help the area’s unsheltered.

A panel of women from the city and local nonprofits will talk about housing projects and other programs in the works to address the homelessness crisis from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Panelists include Keizer Mayor Cathy Clark, chairperson of the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance; Stephanie Bobb, resource development manager at United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley; Kristin Retherford, Salem’s Urban Development director; and Vanessa Nordyke, a Salem city councilor.

Cindy Burgess, the league’s chairperson for publicity, said the group aims to educate citizens to be informed and become aware of local issues.

Retherford will talk about housing projects in the works like Yaquina Hall and Sequoia Crossings. She will also discuss Redwood Crossings, the city’s first permanent supportive housing project.

Nordyke will talk about projects the city is working toward to address homelessness like a mobile response unit to handle low-level 911 calls, like for people in mental distress, instead of police.  

At the end of the panel, people can ask questions in the chat.

Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Marion & Polk Counties. To get the Zoom links, e-mail [email protected].

-Saphara Harrell

February 9, 2021 at 11:54am

Legacy Health opens Covid vaccine appointments in Woodburn

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

Marion County residents can sign up to get a Covid vaccine at Legacy Health's Woodburn clinic, 1475 Mt. Hood Ave., starting Tuesday.

Legacy Health has appointments available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday for people currently eligible to be vaccinated in Oregon. That includes seniors 80 and older, teachers, child care workers, first responders, correctional employees and health care workers.

Seniors 75 and older become eligible Feb. 15.

To schedule an appointment, go to covidvaccine.oregon.gov and use the live chat tool in the bottom right corner of the screen to answer questions about eligibility. Marion County residents who are eligible to receive a vaccine will be directed to the sign-up page for Legacy Health.

People with questions or who need help scheduling can call 211, email [email protected], or text ORCOVID to the number 898211.

Woodburn has recorded one of the highest rates of Covid cases of any ZIP code in Oregon to date. Legacy expects to vaccinate 200 to 400 people daily at the clinic, spokeswoman Kristin Whitney said. The clinic is "intended to address a gap in access to vaccines in a region that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted," Whitney said in a statement.

-Rachel Alexander