Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Two arrested following Saturday afternoon shooting

28 days ago

Data digest: Covid by the numbers for Sept. 27, 2021

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

Salem Reporter is keeping you informed of the latest Covid numbers. Here’s our report for Monday, Sept. 27.  

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: 387

New Covid cases reported in Polk County: 23

Total Salem Hospital patients with Covid: 94 as of Monday morning, a decrease of six from Sunday. Of those, 26 are in the intensive care unit, and 15 are on ventilators. 

Seventy-five of those in the hospital are not vaccinated against Covid.

Total Salem Hospital bed occupancy: 459 of 494 licensed beds in use

Total people hospitalized with Covid in Region 2 (Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Lincoln counties): 150, a decrease of three from Sunday. Of those, 39 are in the intensive care unit and 20 are on ventilators.

Total Region 2 hospital bed occupancy: 85 of 95 staffed ICU beds and 589 of 668 non-ICU beds in use. 

New Covid deaths reported: 27

OHA didn’t release demographic information on the weekend’s deaths by 4 p.m.

New Covid vaccines in Oregon: 1,239 new Covid vaccine doses administered on Sept. 26, including 302 first doses, 231 second doses and 696 third doses.

Salem Reporter is now including the number of people getting a third dose of the vaccine as booster shots become more widely available. 

Source: Oregon Health Authority, Salem Health

-Saphara Harrell

28 days ago

Salem Public Library set to reopen Oct. 1

Seating and desk space in the children's area at the Salem Public Library on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Salem library patrons will be able to go inside the newly renovated main library starting Friday, as the library is tentatively set to open to the public.

There will be a maximum of 200 visitors allowed in the building, masks are required and people are asked to make an appointment before coming in, the library said in an email announcement. There may be room for walk-ins, the announcement said.

Sign ups are set to open Thursday, Sept. 30 at SignupGenius.

The library will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for browsing, to pick up holds or to use a computer. Curbside service will continue to be available, the library said.

The library is asking visitors to keep their stay under an hour. Public computers will be available for up to an hour.

In-person storytimes, meeting and study rooms, the Discovery Room, Teen Scene Room, Plaza Level and the West Salem Branch will remain closed because of Covid, the library said. 

-Saphara Harrell

28 days ago

89 more Salem-Keizer students positive for Covid among 39,000 attending in-person

Open windows at Liberty Elementary School on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The number of Salem students and educators with Covid climbed last week, but remains a small fraction of the number of people attending classes in-person.

Across the district, 89 Salem-Keizer students were newly diagnosed with Covid last week, according to a new district dashboard showing Covid infections and exposures. The dashboard shows 10 new cases among school employees.

The district previously reported 48 students with Covid between the start of classes on Sept. 7 and Sept. 16.

That's among about 39,000 district students attending classes in-person this year.

McNary and North Salem high schools are tied for the most reported student Covid cases, with seven each last week. The schools with the highest counts are generally high schools.

The dashboard includes data for district charter schools and alternative programs as well as traditional schools.

The number of students exposed to Covid through close contact with someone else infected also increased last week. The district recorded 244 students and six employees exposed. Those numbers only include people exposed to Covid at school, district spokesman Aaron Harada said, not people who may be quarantining because of exposure from another source.

Not everyone exposed to Covid has to quarantine at home. Under state and federal health guidelines and school district policy, people fully vaccinated against Covid can remain in school unless they show symptoms of illness. The district's dashboard doesn't show how many people are quarantined because of exposure.

Harada said he's not aware of any additional classrooms moving to online classes because of Covid exposure or quarantine. Last week, the district reported a kindergarten class at Chapman Hills Elementary School moved online for a week after one student tested positive for Covid. That was because enough classmates were close contacts that it was both safer and more practical to move the entire class online, Harada said.

Harada said the dashboard will be updated weekly over the weekend.

-Rachel Alexander

28 days ago

Two arrested, 10-year-old hospitalized after daytime shooting Saturday

Patrol cars at the scene of the Saturday afternoon shooting on Tide Court Northeast near Surfwood Drive Northeast in Salem. (Courtesy/Marion County Sheriff's Office.)

Marion County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested two Salem area men after a Saturday shooting that left a ten-year-old hospitalized.

Detectives arrested Victor Ventura, 19, and Alejandro Ramirez Jr., 20, on Sunday and took them to the Marion County Jail. Both are being held on charges of attempted murder, unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault, a Sunday news release said.

A 911 caller reported a shooting just after 1 p.m. Saturday on Tide Court Northeast near Surfwood Drive Northeast in an unincorporated area of Salem. Initial reports said at least two people were injured and witnesses saw someone in a vehicle flee the scene.

Marion County Sheriff’s deputies and other local and state police responded and found the vehicle. 

The sheriff’s office initially said in a news release Saturday afternoon that an 10-year-old boy was taken in an ambulance with life-threatening injuries, and the second known victim, a 31-year-old male, was in stable condition. Both were in stable condition as of Sunday morning, the release said.

Ventura and Ramirez are scheduled for arraignment on Monday at 2:30 p.m. at the Marion County Circuit Court Annex.

The sheriff’s office is still investigating the shooting and said anyone with information can submit tips online or by texting TIPCSO and their tip to 847411.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian