Local News That Matters

UPDATES: AGENDA: Salem City Council holds work session on Climate Action Plan

September 20, 2021 at 4:43pm

Data digest: Covid by the numbers for Sept. 20, 2021

Salem Hospital on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Salem Reporter is keeping you informed of the latest Covid numbers. Here’s our report for Monday, Sept. 20.

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: 398

New Covid cases reported in Polk County: 55

Total Salem Hospital patients with Covid: 99 as of Monday morning, an increase of three from Sunday. Of those, 25 are in the intensive care unit, and 12 are on ventilators. 

Eighty-three of those in the hospital are not vaccinated against Covid.

Total Salem Hospital bed occupancy: 464 of 494 licensed beds in use

Total people hospitalized with Covid in Region 2 (Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Lincoln counties): 166, an increase of one from Friday. Of those, 45 are in the intensive care unit and 19 are on ventilators.

Total Region 2 hospital bed occupancy: 95 of 95 staffed ICU beds and 705 of 709 non-ICU beds in use. 

New Covid deaths reported: 25

The Oregon Health Authority didn’t include demographic information on the weekend’s deaths by 3:30 p.m. Monday. 

New Covid vaccines in Oregon: 535 new Covid vaccine doses administered on Sept. 19, including 262 first doses. 

Source: Oregon Health Authority, Salem Health

-Saphara Harrell

September 20, 2021 at 1:10pm

UPDATED: Fire under Center Street Bridge extinguished, road reopened

Charred items under the Center Street Bridge after crews extinguished a fire. (Ardeshir Tabrizian/Salem Reporter)

The Center Street Bridge’s eastbound offramp onto Front Street in Salem is now open after being closed briefly due to a fire under the bridge.

Salem firefighters had the fire out at 11:35 a.m. and crews have since returned to the fire station, said Greg Walsh, the city of Salem emergency preparedness manager. The fire was reported around 11:25 a.m.

Walsh said the fire department has not determined what caused the fire. 

The fire burned in a homeless encampment under the bridge, where at least one resident had belongings damaged. Nobody was injured in the fire, Walsh said.

Two tents sat a few steps next to the partly-charred grass where a spread of items had been scorched in the fire.

Three Salem Fire Department crew members responded, and state Department of Transportation employees were assessing damage to the bridge Monday afternoon.

A fire under the Center Street Bridge on Monday, Sept. 20. (Courtesy/Tammy Black-Day)

Firefighters extinguish a fire under the Center Street Bridge on Monday, Sept. 20 (Courtesy/Marion Polk Traffic, Crime and Severe Weather Alerts)

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

September 20, 2021 at 12:54pm

Oregon landlords can raise rent by up to 9.9% for 2022

Oregon landlords in 2022 can raise rent up to 9.9%, the state Department of Administrative Services wrote in a Monday news release.

After legislators passed SB 608 in 2019, Oregon became the first state with a statewide rent control. The department is required under state law to calculate the maximum percentage increase allowed for rent costs the next calendar year by Sept. 30.

The department said its Office of Economic Analysis calculates the maximum increase allowed as 7% plus inflation.

That's determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers in the West Region, which covers 13 states, according to the bureau's website. It tracks the average change over time in prices urban consumers pay for a given list of products and services.

The state Department of Administrative Services will calculate and publish allowable rent increase for 2023 by Sept. 30, 2022. The 2021 maximum rent increase was 9.2%.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

September 20, 2021 at 11:53am

AGENDA: Salem City Council holds work session on Climate Action Plan Monday

Englewood Park on a foggy morning. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

The Salem City Council is having a work session on the city’s Climate Action Plan as it nears completion.

On Monday at 6 p.m., councilors will hear a presentation on the plan’s goals and a recap of strategies the 33-member Salem Climate Action Task Force has determined will reduce greenhouse gas emissions locally.


The task force is holding its final meeting on Oct. 27 and a final draft will be presented to council on Dec. 6.

Some of the strategies include increasing parking fees, improving building weatherization and planting trees.

A staff report notes Salem is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including flooding, drought excessive heat days and wildfires.

It also said the plan will include guiding equity principles, noting that people of color, seniors, children, residents living in poverty and people who live or work outdoors are disproportionately impacted by extreme weather.

How to participate: Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. Watch on YouTube or CC:Media Channel 21. Please submit comments on agenda items by 5:00 p.m., or earlier, on the day of the meeting at [email protected]

-Saphara Harrell