COVID-19 | Coronavirus Disease 2019 | Salem Health
If you are experiencing flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms, call us at 503-814-0099 before visiting any of our locations. Learn more.
COVID-19 vaccine is now available to those who qualify.

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.

Salem Health preparations

Virtual care
Managing supplies

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Latest COVID-19 news from Salem Health

COVID-19 numbers

As of Nov. 29, 2021, 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 Nov. 29, 2021, 7:00 a.m.

  • Total number of COVID-19+ admitted =  2843
  • Total number of COVID-19+ recovered and discharged = 2484
  • Total number of COVID-19+ deaths (at Salem Hospital) = 299
  • Total number of COVID positive admissions since 1/1/2021 that were fully vaccinated = 294 out of 1943 (15.1%)


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?

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Video courtesy of the Oregon Health Authority.




While there is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19, if your symptoms are mild and you do not need medical attention, you can treat COVID-19 as you would other viral illnesses. If you need medical attention, you should call your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, call 503-814-4400 to be directed to an appropriate clinic.

If you are experiencing symptoms and need medical care, virtual care is available for most Salem Health clinics and outpatient services. Learn more about virtual care.

Video courtesy of the Oregon Health Authority.


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.

The cash price is $139 for a COVID-19 test or $52 for an antibody test, with a 35% self-pay discount.


Should I come in for treatment?

  • There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19.
  • 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.


Stay Home Save Lives Oregon logo
Stay at home as much as you can

Staying at home all day can make it feel like you aren't doing anything. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Social distancing makes a difference by slowing the spread of the disease.

Every person who stays at home is doing the hard work of making sure we have enough healthy people and supplies to take care of those who get sick.

Staying home saves lives!


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



A group of emergency room staff pose with boxes of mini cupcakes donated by Maps Credit Union.
Provide a meal

Many generous people in the community have reached out to us via social media to ask if they can send lunch or special treats to our workers.

The answer is a resounding "YES!"

To coordinate the donation of a meal to a unit, please email

Not sure what the names of the currently open units are, or where you'd like to donate? We are happy to suggest a unit or department!


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



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! 


COVID-19 vaccine facts: What we know so far

Updated Feb. 4, 2021

An icon of a triangular yellow sign with an exclamation mark, indicating caution.For specific information about vaccine clinics, please visit our vaccine page.


Salem Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force is in full swing.

While our goal is to vaccinate everyone eventually, it will take some time to do this. The general public will likely need to wait several months to get a vaccine – it all depends on the supply and distribution of the vaccine. Salem Health’s plan matches what is being done nationwide:

A COVID-19 vaccination timeline chart produced by Business Insider.


You can learn a lot more about the vaccine rollout in Oregon from the Oregon Health Authority.



Here are a few questions we can answer now:

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.