Local News That Matters

UPDATES: AGENDA: Salem City Council meets to discuss proposed managed camp

30 days ago

Data digest: Covid by the numbers for Sept. 24, 2021

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

A workgroup of scientists from Oregon and other western states is recommending seniors and others at high risk for Covid infection and illness get a booster dose of Pfizer vaccine.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup issued its recommendation Friday following federal approvals earlier this week. Booster doses are recommended at least six months after the second dose and only for people who received a Pfizer vaccine.

People who should get a booster dose include:

-People 65 and older

-People living in long-term care facilities

-People age 50-64 with underlying medical conditions

The group said younger people with underlying medical conditions and people at higher risk for Covid exposure due to work or living in institutions may choose to get a booster dose of Pfizer vaccine.

Salem Reporter is keeping you informed of the latest Covid numbers. Here’s our report for Friday, Sept. 24. 

New Covid cases reported in Marion County: 193

New Covid cases reported in Polk County: 33

Total Salem Hospital patients with Covid: 91 as of Friday morning, a decrease of nine from Thursday. Of those, 27 are in the intensive care unit and 12 are on ventilators.

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

Total Salem Hospital bed occupancy: 470 of 494 licensed beds in use

Total people hospitalized with Covid in Region 2 (Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Lincoln counties): 142, a decrease of 15 from Thursday. Of those, 42 are in the intensive care unit and 19 are on ventilators.

Total Region 2 hospital bed occupancy: 87 of 96 staffed ICU beds and 613 of 675 non-ICU beds in use. 

New Covid deaths reported: 21 in Oregon, none were Marion or Polk County residents.

New Covid vaccines in Oregon: 3,810 new Covid vaccine doses administered on Sept. 23, including 1,538 first doses. 

Source: Oregon Health Authority, Salem Health

-Ardeshir Tabrizian and Rachel Alexander

30 days ago

Teen hospitalized, two others arrested after accidental shooting at Secor Park

Salem police officers on Thursday arrested two teen boys after one accidentally shot another teen at Secor Park.

Police responded around 5:15 p.m. on Thursday to a call reporting a "juvenile suffering from a gunshot wound," the department said in a Friday news release.

Officers applied first aid to the teen until he was transported to Salem Hospital. He is expected to survive, the news release said.

Officers and detectives determined five teens – one girl and four boys – ages 13 to 16 were in the wooded area of Secor Park at 5555 Stockton Ave. S near Crossler Middle School.

Two of the teens had handguns. "One of the teens was handling one of the firearms when it discharged, and a round struck another teen below the waist," the news release said. The police department found two firearms at the scene.

Two of the boys were arrested for unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm and reckless endangering. Both were taken to the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center.

The department said in the news release that it will not release any more information regarding the case.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

30 days ago

Salem Health hosts eight mobile Covid vaccination clinics in next month

Salem Health began a Covid vaccine clinic at the state fairgrounds on Jan. 7 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Salem residents can get vaccinated against Covid at eight Salem Health clinics scheduled for the coming weeks.

Salem Health's Mobile Vaccination Team will hold clinics at Mega Foods Salem from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on four upcoming Saturdays: Sept. 25, Oct. 9, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30.

It will also hold clinics at Chemeketa Community College in the Building 2 Dining Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 27-28 and Oct. 18-19.

For the clinics at Chemeketa, the team will administer first doses of the Pfizer Covid vaccine at the Sept. 27 and 28 clinics, and they will administer second doses on Oct. 18 and 19, with no appointment needed, according to a Wednesday press release from Chemeketa.

"Chemeketa is proud to partner again with Salem Health's Vaccine Machine to provide COVID-19 vaccines on campus for all community members aged 12 and up,” John McIlvain, Chemeketa’s emergency and risk manager, said in the press release. “Our goal is to provide vaccinations to our students, our staff, and the greater community to help protect everyone from the devastating effects of this horrible virus."

The Mega Foods clinic will be held at 3695 Devonshire Ave NE, and the Chemeketa clinic will be held at 4000 Lancaster Drive NE in Building 2 in the dining hall.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

30 days ago

AGENDA: Salem City Council considers managed camp in west Salem

Salem City Council Chambers. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The Salem City Council meets Monday to consider a new managed camp location which could allow about 60 people without housing to live on a city-owned parcel in west Salem.

Councilors are meeting from 5:15 to 6 p.m. to hold a work session on the annual Community Satisfaction Survey and residents' perspective on infrastructure need.


Councilors will consider authorizing the city manager to establish a temporary managed camp in west Salem at 2700 Wallace Road N.W., a city-owned parcel zoned commercial retail.

A city staff report said the site would serve approximately 60 campers, with seniors 55 and older getting preference.

“This is the only parcel feasible for managed temporary camping that is not currently utilized for another purpose known to staff,” the report said. 

Project costs are estimated at $87,000 for site preparations, $150,000 to buy microshelters and $96,000 per month for operations. The city is planning to use federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for the project.

Councilors will also consider an extension of an Emergency Utility Assistance Program until Dec. 31, 2022.

They will consider authorizing a partnership with the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency to provide financial relief to city of Salem utility customers through the Low-income Household Water Assistance Program.

They will consider an annual fee for restaurants wanting to operate on-street dining platforms in former parking spaces. Staff are recommending a fee of $442 per space, with businesses allowed up to four spaces. The program won’t go into effect until July 2022, but the staff report notes “approving the fee structure now will help restaurants determine if investing in a dining platform makes financial sense for their business prior to undertaking the investment.”

They will hold a public hearing on Community Development Block Grant and HOME investment partnership programs' annual report, which lists projects and programs funded through these sources including homeless prevention, economic development, affordable housing, public service, required planning and administrative activities. The report assesses the progress made toward Salem’s housing and community development goals.

They will also hear a motion from Councilor Virginia Stapleton to require multifamily developments to provide emergency power supply for tenants.

How to participate: The meeting is on Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. Watch on YouTube or CC:Media Channel 21. Submit comments on agenda items by 5 p.m., or earlier, on the day of the meeting at cityrecorder@cityofsalem.net. Public comment and testimony may also be provided during the meeting via Zoom. Please pre-register between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the day of the meeting at the following link.

-Saphara Harrell