Worried about coronavirus?

For the most up-to-date information about coronavirus disease 2019, also known as COVID-19, visit the Oregon Health Authority and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both organizations offer a daily email newsletter, and OHA also has a general information hotline that can be reached by dialing 211.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.


If you suspect you have COVID-19

Call the COVID-19 triage line at
503-814-0099. Please do not go to your doctor's office, an urgent care clinic or the emergency room without calling first.

Man with cold/flu symptoms

COVID-19 symptoms

COVID-19 may cause fever, cough or difficulty breathing. A majority of people who get the virus will have only mild symptoms.

People at risk for more significant symptoms includes the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and/or weakened immune systems.


We have been preparing to handle cases of COVID-19 since December. We understand the threat of infectious disease and the anxiety it can bring to the community. Below are a few of the things we are doing to keep our community healthy.

Miscellaneous medical supplies

Latest COVID-19 news from Salem Health

COVID-19 numbers

As of March 18, 2022, 7:00 a.m.

graph of COVID-19 positive cases at Salem Health


Cumulative data:

Effective Jan. 15, 2021, there has been a change in the methodology of the weekly reported numbers. We are now reporting the number of unique “encounters/admissions” to the hospital, rather than unique patients. This change is occurring due to the increasing number of individuals that end up readmitted for their COVID disease as this pandemic continues.

As of March 18, 2022, 7:00 a.m.

  • Total number of COVID-19+ admitted =  3946
  • Total number of COVID-19+ recovered and discharged = 3528
  • Total number of COVID-19+ deaths (at Salem Hospital) = 401
  • Total number of COVID positive admissions since 1/1/2021 that were fully vaccinated = 753 out of 3036 (24.8%)

How to get tested for COVID

(Updated Jan 26, 2022)

As more people are potentially exposed to the omicron variant, we want to remind the public — please do not come to the emergency room for COVID testing.

If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID or have symptoms:

  • Use MyChart to request a COVID-19 test.
  • COVID testing is available at drive-up locations at the Salem Health lab on State Street and in the West Valley Hospital parking lot in Dallas. You do not need an appointment, but you must have a doctor’s order. (If you sign up through MyChart, the order is automatically included.)
  • If you don’t have a primary doctor or are not already a Salem Health Medical Clinic patient, schedule a virtual urgent care visit to obtain a doctor’s order.
  • Other places to get tested are listed on the Marion County website

 If you test positive:

  • Contact your primary care provider for next steps.
  • Follow OHA’s positive test guide to avoid spreading COVID to others.
  • COVID that is not causing life-threatening symptoms can be treated at home, much like a cold or the flu.

Thank you for helping us protect our staff by taking advantage of drive-up testing!

Video courtesy of the Oregon Health Authority.


You prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 by:

  • Staying home and practicing social distancing.
  • Wearing a mask when you leave your home.
  • Avoiding touching your face.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throwing the tissue in the trash.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.


The CDC recommends wearing masks in public spaces. If you have respiratory symptoms like a cough, a mask is a great tool to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. 


Are you washing your hands the right way?

Frequently asked questions

Can I be tested?

Due to the limited amount of testing supplies, Salem Health is offering testing to hospitalized patients who meet exposure criteria. If you think you meet the criteria, please contact your primary care provider directly or call 503-814-0099.


Should I come in for treatment?

  • If you have an emergency, you should go to the nearest ER.
  • If you experiencing symptoms, please stay home and care for yourself as you would for any other virus.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms and need medical care, call your primary care provider. If you do not have a PCP, please call an urgent care clinic. It’s best if you call before going in anywhere so that health care professionals can assist you in a plan that will reduce exposure to others.


Should I wear a mask?

The CDC recommends masks for public spaces. If you have respiratory symptoms like a cough or sneeze, a mask is a great tool to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.


Is the hospital canceling classes and support groups?

The CHEC is offering classes and support groups both virtually and small groups in-person. For more information, call the CHEC at 503-814-2432 or visit

Community job shadows are suspended until further notice. All current participants have been notified. Applications are still being accepted, but scheduling will be delayed.


What is the policy for visitors at Salem Health facilities?

This policy continues to evolve as new information becomes available about COVID-19 in our community. In general, only patients and those visitors who meet specific criteria are allowed until further notice. The full details of the policy are available here.


Can I still send gifts to patients in the hospital?

At this time, we are asking the public not to send flowers to ICU patients, to help reduce the risk of infection.

Can I sew masks to donate to the hospital?

At this time, we are not requesting home-sewn masks from the public. If and when we do, we'll announce it on our social media and our mask-making page. Thank you to everyone who took part in the mask-making project! If you are looking for ways to help Salem Hospital and health care workers, please check out the "You can help!" tab above!


Where else can I get the most up-to-date information?

The most up-to-date Salem Health information will be under the "Latest news" tab above. The Oregon Health Authority has information and resources at or by dialing 211. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is available at Both the OHA and CDC have newsletters you can subscribe to in order to get email updates straight to your inbox.

You can help!

Most of us have never lived through a national health outbreak like this before and are looking for positive ways to make a difference.

Luckily, there are things you can do without leaving your house that will help hospitals and health care workers.

Send a note of encouragement

Our staff have stepped up to this pandemic in remarkable ways.

Now, you can send them a message or picture of encouragement to brighten their day.

Form submissions become part of a daily internal message to all staff and will not be made public without permission.


Send a note

Support the Foundation

By giving to the Salem Health Foundation or Salem Health West Valley Foundation Area of Greatest Need funds, you’re supporting the fight against COVID-19. These gifts support those on the front lines by providing critical supplies and resources.


Make a gift

Donate plasma if you've recovered from COVID-19

Plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 contains antibodies that attack the virus – and it’s being evaluated as a treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections. 


Learn more

Get vaccinated

Visit our vaccination page to make an appointment or learn more about community vaccine events:


COVID vaccine information page



Is the vaccine safe?

The vaccine has been through extensive clinical trials and has proven to have relatively minor side effects, such as muscle aches and low-grade fever. Because it is an mRNA vaccine, there is no COVID-19 virus in the formula. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. Pfizer has stated that individuals with severe allergies should not get the vaccine at this time. The FDA has approved the vaccine for pregnant women. Learn more about safety protocols and the development of the vaccine directly from Pfizer.

Is the vaccine effective?

In clinical trials, when both doses were completed, the Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective at preventing COVID-19. For comparison, the efficacy of the annual flu shot averages about 40%.

You must receive a second dose at least 21 to 28 days after the first dose for the vaccine to be effective. Without the follow-up dose, the first is not effective and is essentially a wasted vaccine. Because there is a very limited supply of doses, the Oregon Health Authority is imploring people to get their second dose. We cannot afford any wasted vaccines.

How will we know if we’re having side effects from the vaccine or real symptoms of COVID?

The recommendation at this time is to consider symptoms during the first three days after vaccination as side effects. Anyone currently on quarantine due to exposure or suspected exposure to COVID-19 should wait to receive vaccinations until their quarantine period has ended, so we can be more certain of where symptoms are coming from.

Does the vaccine contain eggs? I’m allergic.

No, the mRNA vaccines do not require the use of egg products in their manufacture.

If I have already had COVID, do I still need the vaccine?

Because we know very little at this time about how long immunity lasts following the resolution of the COVID virus, the OHA recommends people get vaccinated even if they have already had COVID.

Once I get the vaccine, will I still need to wear a mask and socially distance?

Yes. Current evidence/knowledge shows that the vaccine protects against the virus itself, but not that it can prevent transmission of the virus to others. In other words, you could be vaccinated, have the virus without symptoms, and still transmit the infection to someone who is not yet vaccinated. We will need to continue our prevention measures for many months until a majority of the population has been vaccinated.