Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Person who attended Salem-Keizer School Board meeting tests positive for Covid

about 1 month ago

Data digest: Covid by the numbers for Aug. 16, 2021

Oregon Health Authority's graph showing people hospitalized with Covid in Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties as of Aug. 16, 2021.

Covid hospitalizations fell slightly over the weekend in Salem and Oregon, but the number of people being infected with Covid continues to climb. Local hospitalizations peaked Saturday, with 83 Covid inpatients at Salem Hospital, and fell Sunday and Monday.

Reported cases are higher on Mondays because they include Saturday and Sunday totals.

New Covid cases reported in Marion County: 163

New Covid cases reported in Polk County: 46

Total Salem Hospital patients with Covid: 73 as of Monday morning, a decrease of eight from Friday. Of those, 18 are in the intensive care unit, and 12 are on ventilators. Fifty-nine of those in the hospital are not vaccinated against Covid.

Total Salem Hospital bed occupancy: 426 of 494 licensed beds in use

Total people hospitalized with Covid in Region 2 (Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Lincoln counties): 116, an increase of two from Friday. Of those, 28 are in the intensive care unit and 13 are on ventilators.

Total Region 2 hospital bed occupancy: 87 of 92 staffed ICU beds and 674 of 696 non-ICU beds in use

New Covid deaths reported: 14 in Oregon, none were Marion or Polk county residents.

New Covid vaccines in Oregon: 751 new doses administered Aug. 15, including 479 first doses of vaccine. Reported numbers are typically far lower on weekends.

Source: Oregon Health Authority, Salem Health

-Rachel Alexander

about 1 month ago

Governor extends Oregon foreclosure moratorium until Dec. 31

Distressed Oregon homeowners now have three additional months before they can face foreclosure for not paying their mortgage.

Gov. Kate Brown on Monday announced Oregon’s residential mortgage foreclosure moratorium would last until Dec. 31. It was previously been set to expire Sept. 30.

The moratorium prevents homeowners from losing their homes if they have lost income and have been unable to pay their mortgage during the pandemic.

Brown said extending the moratorium three months will prevent Oregonians from being removed from their homes.

“As we continue to see record high numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations driven by the Delta surge, I am committed to ensuring that Oregonians have a warm, dry, safe place to live during this pandemic," she said in a statement.

Oregonians who have fallen behind on their mortgages during the pandemic are encouraged to contact a housing counselor in their community. A list of housing counselors in communities across Oregon is available here.

-Saphara Harrell

about 1 month ago

Santiam floating trip strands rafters, requires helicopter rescue

An Oregon Army National Guard helicopter helped rescue several people who became stranded on the Santiam River Sunday. (Courtesy/ Marion County Sheriff's Office)

Five people floating down the Santiam River on Sunday afternoon had their trip upended when they got stranded and needed a helicopter to fly them to safety.

Around 3 p.m. a person called 911 to report five people stranded east of Niagara Park near Detroit Lake, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Two of the rafters held on to a burnt log and three were on a rock on the river. None had lifejackets, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office said emergency crews were able to get life jackets to the rafters, but two rescuers became stranded during the rescue effort when their raft overturned on the remote section of river.

More agencies were called in to help, including a helicopter from the Oregon Army National Guard. 

Highway 22 was closed to provide access for emergency vehicles and to set up an emergency landing zone for the Oregon Army National Guard helicopter. 

Four rafters and two rescuers were airlifted back to safety. Water rescue teams were able to get one person out by ground.

One of the rafters was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. No one involved sustained serious injuries, the sheriff’s office said.

“This event is a strong reminder that with the weather heating up, the heavy flow of the water, and the waters being cold, this is a dangerous time. Please be mindful and use extreme caution when swimming or floating on the river. It is required to bring personal flotation devices when floating down the river,” the sheriff’s office said. 

-Saphara Harrell

about 1 month ago

Person who attended Salem-Keizer School Board meeting tests positive for Covid

A person who attended a Salem-Keizer School Board meeting on Aug. 10 has tested positive for Covid, the district announced Saturday.

The district shared few details about the case, but said three other people were exposed to the person with Covid. All three received phone calls to inform them, and none were members of the public, according to a district statement.

"The positive case and those exposed were adhering to all COVID-19 health and safety protocols, which limits exposure," the district statement said.

Those exposed to Covid have been vaccinated against the virus and are not required to quarantine unless they show symptoms of illness, the district said.

It's the first such notification since the district resumed in-person school board meetings in the spring, and reopened the boardroom to the public in July.

"Sadly, COVID-19 impacts us all daily and this case only shows the importance of following the recommended health and safety protocols such as vaccination, wearing a face covering, hand washing, and maintaining three feet of physical distance. These layers of protection significantly reduce the spread of this virus in our communities, schools and work spaces," the district said in a statement.

-Rachel Alexander

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