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.
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.
As of March 18, 2022, 7:00 a.m.
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.
(Salem, Ore. – May 20, 2021) – Salem Health announces several changes and additions to the COVID-19 Vaccine Program, aimed at increasing the role of providers in vaccinations, creating more options and locations to receive the vaccine and addressing vaccine hesitancy.
Vaccinations are now available at:
At the request of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Salem Health has become a Vaccine Redistribution Hub, receiving, storing and distributing vaccine to area clinics, pharmacies and public health sites requiring smaller quantities of the vaccine. Hubs enable access to the Pfizer vaccine for those provider offices and pharmacies that are not equipped with the ultra-cold storage the Pfizer vaccine requires. Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized for ages 12 to 17.
“Our focus is on providing vaccine wherever it is needed,” said Cheryl Wolfe, president and CEO, Salem Health. “From the beginning, Salem Health built into our plan a number of ways to vaccinate the community. Standing up the state’s first mass vaccination clinic in the first days of 2021 has proven to be some of the most important work of our careers in healthcare. As we have throughout the pandemic and through vaccine response, we will adjust to meet the needs of our community.”
Mass vaccination clinics in Marion and Polk counties
Nearly 200,000 vaccinations have been given at Salem Health’s vaccine clinic at the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center since opening on Jan. 6 as the state’s first mass vaccination site. Salem Health’s Polk County vaccine clinic at Western Oregon University in Monmouth has given more than 32,000 vaccines since Jan. 11. Following both statewide and nationwide trends, Salem Health has begun to see a decline in demand at the mass vaccination clinics in Salem and Monmouth.
Starting Tuesday, May 25, the vaccine clinic in Salem will scale down operations into a smaller footprint at the fairgrounds. The parking entrance and exit will shift to Sunnyview Road NE, with clearly marked directional signage for those visiting the new location for their first or second dose vaccine.
Changes will facilitate a rapid process while retaining access for those for whom the centrally located Marion County site is the best option. Vaccine clinic hours remain the same, Tuesday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled (www.salemhealth.org/vaccine) and walk-ins are encouraged and welcome up to 4:00 p.m. each day.
Salem Health’s Polk County vaccine clinic at Western Oregon University will scale back to a two-day-a-week clinic schedule starting Wednesday, June 2 (closed on the Memorial Day holiday, Monday, May 31). The vaccine clinic will be open Wednesday and Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled (www.salemhealth.org/vaccine) and walk-ins are encouraged and welcome up to 4:00 p.m. each day.
Salem Health will continue daily monitoring of vaccine demand for these sites in Marion and Polk counties, with each projected to remain open through early June for first doses and late June for second doses, unless demand and community need dictate staying open longer.
Salem Health Medical Clinics
Salem Health recognizes that some people are more comfortable talking with their provider about the vaccine and receiving it in a medical clinic setting. Vaccinations are now available at Salem Health Medical Clinics – at all eight of its primary care clinic locations. Salem Health’s primary care clinics have given more than 450 vaccinations since May 4.
Walk-ins are welcome and open to the public during clinic hours, up to one hour before closing each day. Beginning June 1, appointment scheduling will be available, for ages 12 and over, online at www.salemhealth.org/vaccine, and walk-ins will continue to be welcome at each Salem Health Medical Clinic location.
Mobile Vaccine Team
The Mobile Vaccine Team focuses on equity in vaccinating Oregonians, prioritizing hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations, as well as those for which travel to one of the larger vaccine clinics is a barrier. Nearly 6,000 vaccines have been given through the more than 53 mobile vaccine clinic events since March 18. Scheduling is ongoing with 28 more mobile vaccine events currently planned for food packaging plants; migrant and seasonal agricultural workers; churches, parishes and religious groups; senior living communities; homeless communities; rural communities in Marion and Polk counties; and at school locations across both counties.
Salem Health has added mobile vaccine clinic sites that are open to the public. The Mobile Vaccine Team collaborated with Woodburn Ambulance and the Interface Network for the Woodburn Centennial Park Drive-Thru Vaccine Clinic on May 20. On Friday, May 21, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m., a mobile vaccine clinic open to the public will be held at Four Corners Elementary School, 500 Elma Avenue SE, Salem. Mobile vaccine clinic sites which are open to the public will be posted on www.salemhealth.org/vaccine. No appointment is needed for the mobile vaccine clinic public sites.
Vaccine Redistribution Hub
OHA has designated Salem Health as a Vaccine Redistribution Hub, a distribution plan designed to widen vaccine access and prevent waste. Salem Health is one of a dozen hubs which are regionally located across the state. In its initial plan, the Vaccine Redistribution Hub model will ensure that people everywhere in the state have access to the Pfizer vaccine, especially youth ages 12 to17 for whom it is the only authorized vaccine.
Each hub serves as a central site to receive vaccines, store them for brief periods of time, repackage them into smaller batches, and redistribute them to clinics and other administering sites. Hubs will allow vaccinators such as clinics, pharmacies and public health sites to have smaller quantities of the Pfizer vaccine available in their conventional vaccine freezers and refrigerators, where they may be safely stored.
Salem Health has been honored to be a part of Oregon’s broad-scale vaccination effort. The vaccine program continues to evolve to go where people are who need the vaccine and to address vaccine hesitancy as community members make their choice to be vaccinated. This marks a new phase of the program as Salem Health adjusts its vaccination plan to meet community need, while recognizing that not everyone is comfortable receiving a vaccination yet. Salem Health is committed to providing information and access to increase vaccination and immunity in our community.
About Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics
Salem Health offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit us at www.salemhealth.org; “Like” us on www.facebook.com/salemhealth; follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at www.youtube.com/salemhealth.
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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:
If you test positive:
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:
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?
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 salemhealth.org/chec.
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 oregon.gov/oha or by dialing 211. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is available at cdc.gov. Both the OHA and CDC have newsletters you can subscribe to in order to get email updates straight to your inbox.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.