Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Wednesday procession mourns the loss of former OSP trooper

about 2 months ago

Data digest: Covid by the numbers for Aug. 23, 2021

Empty beds in the hallway of the emergency room at Salem Hospital on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

With Covid cases and hospitalizations climbing in Oregon, Salem Reporter is keeping you informed of the latest numbers. Here’s our report for Monday, Aug. 23.

Monday case and death totals also include numbers reported Saturday and Sunday and are typically higher than other weekdays.

New Covid cases reported in Marion County: 195

New Covid cases reported in Polk County: 113

Total Salem Hospital patients with Covid: 88 as of Monday morning, the same as on Friday. The hospital reported 89 Covid patients Saturday morning and 86 on Sunday. Of Monday’s patients, 25 are in the intensive care unit, and 17 are on ventilators. Seventy-five of those in the hospital are not vaccinated against Covid.

Total Salem Hospital bed occupancy: 425 of 494 licensed beds in use

Total people hospitalized with Covid in Region 2 (Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Lincoln counties): 143, an increase of five from Friday. Of those, 40 are in the intensive care unit and 17 are on ventilators.

Total Region 2 hospital bed occupancy: 88 of 98 staffed ICU beds and 645 of 699 non-ICU beds in use

New Covid deaths reported: 24 in Oregon, no Polk County residents. A 48-year-old woman from Marion County who tested positive for Covid on Aug. 17 died on Aug. 19 at University of Washington Medical Center. She had underlying conditions.

New Covid vaccines in Oregon: 1,035 new Covid vaccine doses administered on Aug. 22, including at least 672 first doses 

Source: Oregon Health Authority, Salem Health

-Rachel Alexander

about 2 months ago

Pfizer vaccine approval means Oct. 18 deadline for many Oregon workers to get their shots

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

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved Pfizer's vaccine against Covid, making it the first Covid vaccine to receive full federal approval.

The decision triggers vaccination mandates for many Oregon workers.

Gov. Kate Brown in recent weeks has mandated Covid vaccines for most state employees, all Oregon health care workers, and K-12 educators and school employees. She set an Oct. 18 target for those employees to finish their vaccination series, but said the final deadline could be later if federal approval lagged.

Now, Brown's office confirmed Monday, the FDA's decision means the Oct. 18 deadline will stand. Workers covered by vaccine mandates must be fully vaccinated by that date. Both Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines require two doses spaced several weeks apart. "Fully vaccinated" means someone has received their second dose at least two weeks ago.

"Those required to be fully vaccinated by October 18 need to take urgent action in order to meet this deadline," said Liz Merah, spokeswoman for the governor, in an email.

The Pfizer vaccine was approved for people 16 and older. It remains available to people ages 12 to 15 under an emergency use authorization.

“While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.," said acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. in a statement.

The Marion County Health and Human Services Department will be sharing information about the approval with community partners and the public this week in hopes of encouraging vaccination, spokeswoman Jenna Wyatt said.

"We were thrilled to hear the news of the FDA's approval of the Pfizer vaccine for those 16 and older. While it's a little early to know what impact it will have on those who have been unsure, we are hopeful that it will help community members feel more confident in the decision to get vaccinated," Wyatt said in an email.

-Rachel Alexander

about 2 months ago

Wednesday procession through Salem mourns the loss of former OSP trooper

Former Oregon State Police Sgt. John Burright will be memorialized Wednesday, Aug. 25 at the Salem Armory.

A procession of public safety cars will make their way from Albany to Salem Wednesday morning to mourn the loss of a former Oregon State Police trooper.

Former Sgt. John Burright died on May 4 from complications from injuries sustained on the job nearly 20 years earlier.

On Sept. 4, 2001, he was hit on the side of Interstate 5 while helping a disabled motorist. Trooper Maria Mignano and Albany police officer Jason Hoerauf were instantly killed.

The crash left Burright paralyzed and ended his career.

The procession starts at the Linn County Fairgrounds, 3700 Knox Butte Rd. E., at 10:20 a.m. and continues north along Interstate 5 to the Salem Armory for the memorial service.

Members of the public are not allowed to participate in the procession but are welcome to view the procession from sidewalks and overpasses along the route. 

The procession route for the memorial of former Oregon State Police Sgt. John Burright.

The memorial service starts at 1 p.m. 2310 17th St. N.E. and is open to the public.

Drivers are encouraged to take alternate routes until noon.

“During the procession, area travelers should be prepared for road closures, traffic congestion, and long delays along the route, especially on I-5 between Albany and Salem,” an Oregon State Police news release said.

Gov. Kate Brown ordered all flags at Oregon public institutions be flown at half-staff Wednesday in honor of Burright’s death.

If members of the public wish to donate to support the Burright family, they may do so through the Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation. Donations may be made in person at any US Bank location or online through the “support us” tab on the Foundation’s website at www.oregonfallenbadge.com.

-Saphara Harrell

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