Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Tuesday march against Covid mandates

January 31, 2022 at 4:30pm

Data digest: Covid by the numbers for Jan. 31, 2022

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

As Covid hospitalizations remain high due to the omicron variant, Salem Reporter is again publishing case and hospitalization information daily. Here’s our report for Monday, Jan. 31.

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

Total Salem Hospital patients with Covid: 123 as of Monday morning, four more than Sunday. 

Of those, 14 are in the intensive care unit, and five are on ventilators.

Sixty-six of those in the hospital are not vaccinated against Covid, and 57 are vaccinated.

Salem Health does not consistently report the number of patients who have received a booster vaccine dose because of the difficulty tracking whether patients are eligible for a booster in real time, spokeswoman Lisa Wood said. The vaccinated patient count includes any patient who has received at least two doses of a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Total Salem Hospital bed occupancy: 478 patients; the hospital is licensed for 494 beds.

Total people hospitalized with Covid in Region 2 (Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Lincoln counties): 199. Of those, 25 are in the intensive care unit and eight are on ventilators.

Total Region 2 hospital bed occupancy: 83 of 87 staffed ICU beds and 561 of 564 non-ICU beds in use. 

New Covid cases reported in Marion County: 1,622

New Covid cases reported in Polk County: 302

New Covid deaths reported: 15 in Oregon

-Saphara Harrell

January 31, 2022 at 1:57pm

UPDATE: Salem man found after being reported missing Monday

Jose Rivera Lara with Koda (Courtesy/Marion County Sheriff's Office)

UPDATE: The Marion County Sheriff's Office said in a news release early Monday evening that Jose Rivera Lara was found safe and will be put into contact with his family.

"We appreciate the help from our local community by sharing information and submitting tips about possible last known locations," the news release said.

Original story below:

Marion County deputies are looking for a man who they say didn't return to his Salem home after leaving early Saturday morning.

The family of Jose Rivera Lara, 52, reported him missing Monday.

Family members told the Marion County Sheriff's Office he was last seen driving his maroon 2004 Chevrolet Silverado with an Oregon license plate reading "HOSEB," according to a Monday afternoon news release.

The sheriff's office said he may have traveled to forest areas in rural Marion or Clackamas county.

Rivera Lara is about 5'6", 185 pounds and has black hair with brown eyes. He left his home with a dog named Koda, a one-year-old shepherd. 

The sheriff's office asked anyone anyone who may have had contact with Rivera Lara to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office non-emergency dispatch at 503-588-5032.

Jose Rivera Lara's truck (Courtesy/Marion County Sheriff's Office)

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

January 31, 2022 at 12:22pm

March against Covid mandates planned Tuesday at Capitol

The Oregon State Capitol. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

A march against Covid-related mandates is planned Tuesday at the Oregon State Capitol as the state Legislature begins its 2022 session.

Billed as Oregonians Unite for Medical Freedom, the event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to a press release.

Organizers say they oppose pandemic emergency orders and mask mandates and want to stop the Oregon Health Authority from developing a digital vaccine card, which the agency is working on as a voluntary option for people to show proof of vaccination.

“The time has arrived for us to hold elected officials accountable to their oaths of office and to We The People who give them the power they continue to abuse,” the press release said. “Health Freedom is not a radical movement, but rather a movement of necessity as public health policies infringe upon our collective Constitutional rights and threaten to undo all of the progress made for equality by visionary leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King.”

The event is sponsored by Children's Health Defense Oregon Chapter, Oregonians for Medical Freedom, Free Oregon, People’s Rights Oregon, Free Lane County and Moms for Liberty.

Children's Health Defense, run by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., has spread false claims that vaccines cause autism and other conditions in children.

Expected to speak are Kevin Jenkins, Brian Hooker, Steve Kirsch, Henry Ealy, Luke Yamaguchi, Ken and Sheryl Ruettgers, and Stephen Joncus.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian