COVID-19 fears rock Keizer

The first confirmed death of an Oregon patient in connection with COVID-19 was recorded Saturday, March 14. 

A 70-year-old veteran died at a Portland hospital from COVID-19.

Coronavirus has continued to spread in Oregon and throughout the country as new cases of the virus are confirmed on a nearly hourly basis. 

As of Wednesday, March 18, Oregon’s new COVID-19 cases bring the state’s total of positive tests for the virus to 75. So far, more than 1,500 residents of the state have been tested for the flu-like virus. More than 361 results were pending at press time. 

Concerns about the virus spread has led to shortages of all sorts in Keizer. Paper products and disinfectants were cleaned out of most Keizer stores by Friday. New supplies are seemingly swept up within hours if not minutes. On Saturday, the Keizer Waremart’s stock in fresh produce, fresh meat, paper products cleansing products and frozen meals were all but drained.

On Monday, March 16, Gov. Kate Brown ordered a ban on gatherings larger than 25 people for the next four weeks, and restricted restaurants and other establishments to takeout and delivery services only. Exemptions to the ban include grocery stores, pharmacies, retail stores and workplaces. 

Local organizations are responding in a ways large and small, here’s what’s happening with some that have the most direct impact on Keizer:

Salem-Keizer Public Schools grab and go meals

In order to help alleviate food insecurity, SKPS will be offering breakfast and lunch grab and go bags, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 36 locations. Meals are available to any child 18 and under. 

Keizer-based grab and go locations are: 

McNary High School, Claggett Creek and Whiteaker middle schools, and Cummings, Keizer, Kennedy and Weddle elementary schools. 

Keizer Community Food Bank

Demand for the services of the Keizer Community Food Bank are up and supplies are down. The greatest needs are for: milk, eggs, tuna fish, mac and cheese, canned veggies, canned soups, and canned tomatoes. Non-perishable food items can be donated at UpTown Music, Tony’s Kingdom of Comics, Copper Creek Mercantile and Town & Country Lanes. 

Financial donations can be made at 

City government

Keizer City Hall is closed to the public. Officials encourage all citizens to limit non-emergency type contact by calling or emailing with any questions, and paying bills on-line, by phone or by dropping payment at the parking lot kiosk. Those applying for a permit should call ahead for directions 503-856-3440.

Until further notice, will not disconnect water for non-payment of the city services bill that includes water, sewer and stormwater. Customers will continue to be responsible for the charges during this emergency and are encouraged to continue to pay their bill as they are able. 

Northwest Natural Gas

Northwest Natural will not disconnect customers who can’t make a payment due to impacts caused by the coronavirus. Customers will continue to receive bills and past-due notices, but NW Natural will not send a final shut-off notice and disconnect service.

Portland General Electric and Salem Electric 

Non-payment disconnections have been suspended. Call 503-228-6322 if you need help with your bill. 

Salem Electric

The Salem Electric lobby will be closed until March 31. Payments can be dropped off in the payment kiosk outside the office at 633 7th Street N.W. in Salem.

Salem Health

To reduce exposure and slow the spread of COVID-19 as well as protect patients and caregivers and to preserve critical safety supplies, Salem Health is restricting all visitors at its hospitals in Salem and Dallas (West Valley Hospital) until further notice. As an alternative to visiting a family member or friend at either Salem Hospital or West Valley Hospital, please telephone or video call them.

No visitors will be allowed to visit patients in isolation for infection prevention, barring extenuating circumstances. 

Assuming the visitor is healthy and over the age of 12, some exceptions might be made. Obstetric, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and pediatric patients may have one designated visitor accompany them.

Case-by-case exceptions will be considered by the unit’s nurse leader based upon unusual circumstances. 

Closures and Cancellations

Salem-Keizer Public School District

All schools are closed through Tuesday, April 28.

Local schools are canceling school dances, field trips and assemblies through at least April 28 and barring spectators from school sports, band concerts and other performances. The McNary High School prom has been postponed. 

Long-term care facilities

The Oregon Department of Human Services increased restrictions on visitation policies for all licensed long-term care facilities as well as residential group homes to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The restrictions limit all visitors except essential medical and emergency personnel and visitors to residents who are in the end of life.

The new, all-visitor restrictions apply to:

• Nursing facilities;

• Assisting living facilities;

• Residential care facilities;

• Adult foster homes; and,

• Group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Keizer Fire District

Closed to the public

Keizer Civic Center

Closed to public, online bill payment encouraged.

Keizer Community Dinner March 26 


Keizer Cultural Center

Closed until further notice

Keizer Rotary Club

All meetings are canceled until April 9.

Keizer Little League 


Keizer/Salem Area Senior Center

Closed until further notice

Marion County Sheriff’s Office

Postponing community meetings, attendance at community events, volunteer programs at the jail, citizen ride-a-longs, and tours of Sheriff’s Office facilities effective immediately.