Marion County COVID-19 Statement

Posted on November 7, 2020

Marion County – 11/06/20 4:37 PM

Salem, OR – This afternoon Gov. Kate Brown announced a COVID-19 two-week pause for Marion and four other Oregon counties. Today’s order sets limits on indoor gatherings including restaurants, recreation, and household social gatherings.

The recent rise in case counts is concerning to the commissioners and local public health leaders; however, Marion County believes that data should drive decision making meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

Marion County COVID-19 data indicates:

  • Restaurants are not a significant source of outbreaks in Marion County. Cases in restaurants have typically been among staff who socialize together while at work or outside of work.
  • Most of the spread of COVID-19 is occurring in larger private social gatherings and households. Putting additional burdens on businesses will not prevent these private gatherings from happening and has the potential to increase private social gatherings.
  • We understand Salem Hospital has sufficient capacity to care for COVID-19 and other patients. Marion County has not seen high levels of Covid-related emergency department visits or hospitalizations. This is a metric that the county has met even as case counts have increased. This speaks to the severity of the disease in our community.
  • Marion County supports actions tailored to individual communities based on local data including limiting opportunities for exposure to our loved ones in long term care facilities.

Commissioner Colm Willis, chair, said, “Marion County is in the middle of recovering from devastating wildfires. Much of the work associated with wildfire recovery must be done in person. We have maintained appropriate COVID-19 protocols including physical distancing, mask wearing, and temperature screening at meetings and public events.”

Marion County continues to support data driven protocols such as:

  • Increased testing in Marion County that will enable us to make informed decisions on how we can stem the spread of this disease.
  • Rapid tests with same day results should be promoted as widely as possible. This way those who test positive can immediately quarantine rather than risk spreading the virus while they are waiting for results.

Commissioner Kevin Cameron reminds us, “As we approach the holiday season it’s important to remember we all have a part to play to keep our community healthy. We encourage everyone to wear face coverings, wash hands frequently, stay home if you are sick, and practice physical distancing when you’re around people not from your household. Working together we can help keep Marion County safe, strong, and thriving.”

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