Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Salem man released from jail after shots fired incident

18 days ago

Two classrooms at Grant, Weddle elementary schools moved online following student illness

Forty-two students at Grant and Weddle elementary schools have moved to online classes through Oct. 11 because of student illnesses.

The quarantine includes a second grade classroom at Weddle with 19 students and a first grade classroom at Grant with 23 students, district spokesman Aaron Harada said. Families were notified of the quarantine Wednesday at Grant and Tuesday at Weddle.

One student in the Weddle classroom tested positive for Covid, Harada said. Enough of the student's classmates were identified as close contacts that the school district's health authority made the decision to move the entire class online.

“This is being done out of an abundance of caution due to possible exposure to a recently diagnosed case of Covid-19," Harada said.

No students in the Grant classroom have tested positive for Covid, Harada said. The class was quarantined because at least six students were recently out of school sick with symptoms including a cough.

The district's communicable disease management plan calls for schools to notify a district nurse if more than 20% of a class is ill. Harada said the district's health authority made the decision to quarantine the class.

The classrooms are the second and third within the Salem-Keizer School District to move to online classes because of illness since the school year began Sept. 7. A kindergarten class at Chapman Hill Elementary School was moved online following one student case of Covid in the classroom and has since returned.

Harada said two district preschool classes have also moved online because of a Covid exposure in the classroom. One at Hallman Elementary has since resumed in-person, and a class at the East Salem Community Center will be online until Oct. 11.

The district last week reported 89 students newly diagnosed with Covid who were inside a school while infectious, and 244 students ordered to quarantine because of exposure in class. A district data dashboard showing Covid infections is updated weekly here.

About 39,000 district students are attending classes in person this year.

If you're a parent or guardian for a student in a class that's been quarantined, Salem Reporter would like to hear how the shift to online has changed your work or childcare arrangements. Contact reporter Rachel Alexander at [email protected]

-Rachel Alexander

18 days ago

Data digest: Covid by the numbers for Sept. 30, 2021

Health care workers work in the intensive care unit 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 Thursday, Sept. 30. 

New Covid cases reported in Marion County: 169

New Covid cases reported in Polk County: 23

Total Salem Hospital patients with Covid: 85 as of Thursday morning, an increase of 10 from Wednesday. Of those, 27 are in the intensive care unit, and 16 are on ventilators. 

Sixty-six of those in the hospital are not vaccinated against Covid.

Total Salem Hospital bed occupancy: 488 of 494 licensed beds in use

Total people hospitalized with Covid in Region 2 (Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Lincoln counties): 154, an increase of 20 from Wednesday. Of those, 41 are in the intensive care unit and 20 are on ventilators.

Total Region 2 hospital bed occupancy: 97 of 101 staffed ICU beds and 647 of 659 non-ICU beds in use. 

New Covid deaths reported: 20

Wednesday’s reported deaths included a 66-year-old man from Polk County who tested positive on Aug. 22 and died on Sept. 24 at Salem Hospital. The presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.

No Marion County residents were listed. 

New Covid vaccines in Oregon: 6,468 new Covid doses on Sept. 29, including 1,523 first doses, 1,653 second doses and 131 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

18 days ago

Northeast Salem shooting suspect released on bail; new details emerge in police affidavit

A Salem man who was arrested Sept. 22 and accused of shooting at a van with three young children inside told police he did not intend to shoot anyone and was firing rounds into the air.

Ivanovich Garcia-Sanchez, 39, was released from the Marion County Jail Thursday after posting bail, according to a release order and agreement. He was charged Sept. 23 with unlawful weapon use, a felony, and three charges of recklessly endangering another person, a misdemeanor, in Marion County Circuit Court, court documents show.

Around 4:41 p.m., Garcia-Sanchez fired two shots that struck the van, and the bullets nearly struck a child who was sitting in the back left seat, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Salem Reporter. Police said nobody was injured in the shooting.

The affidavit said the shooting occurred at 3334 Industrial Way N.E. in Salem, the address where Garten Services Recycling and Document Destruction is located, according to its website.

Salem Police Department officers found a 9mm bullet in the door frame "just below the window" and two shell casings in the area of the train tracks where they believed Garcia-Sanchez shot from, the affidavit said.

A witness said they saw a man they knew as "Flacko," shoot a handgun, and another witness pointed out the homeless camp where the shooter was staying.

Officers found Garcia-Sanchez by the camp and he admitted he was called "Flacko," the affidavit said.

Garcia-Sanchez "ultimately admitted to shooting his firearm," the affidavit said. "He told officers he was not shooting at anyone, he was just firing rounds into the air."

He consented to let officers search a building "where he said the handgun was placed," the affidavit said. Officers found the handgun with a box of ammunition, both 9mm, "sitting out in the open."

Garcia-Sanchez told officers he was sorry for shooting the handgun, the affidavit said.

He was released on $5,000 bail and ordered to have no contact with the three victims, not possess or consume alcohol, not enter bars or taverns, and not possess or use firearms, according to the release order and agreement.

Garcia-Sanchez is scheduled to appear in court for a plea hearing on Oct. 5.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

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