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. – July 9, 2021) – The state’s first mass vaccination clinic prepares to close on Saturday, July 24. Salem Health’s vaccine clinic at the Oregon State Fair & Expo Center opened on Jan. 7 and, at its peak, vaccinated more than 4,400 people per day in April when vaccine demand was at its highest levels. More than 212,000 vaccinations have been given to-date.
As more than 70 percent of Oregonians have now received at least the first dose of the vaccine, demand for mass vaccination sites has decreased. Salem Health’s mass vaccination clinic in Marion County was both the first to open and will be the last to close in the state. The focus now shifts to an on-demand model with multiple sites and flexible scheduling. The vaccine is readily available in each of Salem Health’s primary care and urgent care clinics for walk-in or scheduled appointments.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to care for our community throughout this pandemic and our vaccination program has been some of the most important work of our careers in health care,” said Cheryl Wolfe, president and CEO, Salem Health. “As the COVID-19 vaccine became available in late December, we knew we had to act swiftly to make the life-saving vaccine available to large numbers of people in our community. We have committed ourselves and our resources to be here for Oregon, and are filled with hope as vaccination rates rise. We will continue to make the process easily accessible to reach those who still need to be vaccinated.”
The vaccine clinic at the Oregon State Fair & Expo Center will administer vaccine second doses, both scheduled and walk-ins, through Saturday, July 24. Walk-ins for first doses are also welcome and those who receive a first dose between July 3 and July 24 are given options for their second dose location. The vaccine clinic at the fairgrounds will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., for walk-in first and second doses until July 24.
Salem Health’s Polk County vaccine clinic at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, which administered more than 34,000 vaccinations since opening on Jan. 11, also closed on June 25.
Salem Health Medical Clinics
Vaccinations are available at Salem Health Medical Clinics – at all primary care and urgent care clinic locations in Marion and Polk counties. Walk-ins are welcome and open to the public during clinic hours, up to one hour before closing each day. Appointment scheduling is also available, for ages 12 and over, online at www.salemhealth.org/vaccine.
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. More than 70 percent of the vaccine given through the mobile clinics has been to the BIPOC community, aiming to close the gap in vaccine equity.
In Marion County, Salem Health will host neighborhood-based mobile clinic events, targeting communities with some of the lowest vaccination rates in the state. The area’s 97301 and 97305 zip codes top the list of the state’s least-vaccinated communities, and are the site of two consecutive weekends of mobile vaccine clinics.
Saturday, July 10 and July 17:
Mega Foods - off Lancaster Dr. NE
3695 Devonshire Ave.
2 – 6 p.m.
Salem Health is offering a free meal at the site’s food carts for each person vaccinated (first or second dose) on these two dates.
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.
About Salem Health Hospitals and ClinicsSalem 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.
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.