A week in 97303: Nearly 100 new COVID cases

UPDATE: The most recent COVID case numbers are now part of this story. Changes appear in italics.

Officials from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) identified 94 new cases of COVID-19 in the 97303 zip code between Nov. 18 and Nov. 25.

Each week, the OHA is releasing pandemic-related statistics on the virus’ spread throughout Oregon. On Nov. 18, the OHA reported Keizer had 740 reported cases of COVID-19 infection. A week later, the number jumped to 834. The 11.5% increase in the 97303 zip code was lower than Oregon’s overall 34% increase in COVID-19 cases.

There were 61 COVID-19 deaths reported statewide, nearly doubling the previous week’s total of 31.

People aged 20 to 49 have accounted for 55 percent of the cases, while people 70 and older have accounted for 74 percent of the deaths.

The 97303 zip code includes all of Keizer and smaller portions of Salem. As of Wednesday, Dec. 2, COVID cases had spiked again to 962.

During the extended Thanksgiving weekend, Oregon crossed the threshold into more than 900 deaths from the disease and its complications. Marion County (140) is second only to Multnomah County (236) in the number of recorded deaths as a result of COVID-19.

While a governor’s order mandating a freeze on social activities expired Wednesday, Dec. 2, Marion County is now labeled one of the state’s 25 “extreme risk” counties.

In counties with extreme risk, the following activities will be allowed, with health and safety protocols in place:

• Social and at-home gatherings with people from outside your household will be limited to a maximum of six people, with a recommended limit of two households.

• Restaurants, bars, and other eating and drinking establishments will be limited to a maximum of 50 people for outdoor dining only, with only six people per table. Take-out is strongly encouraged.

• Indoor recreation, fitness, and entertainment establishments, including gyms, will remain closed, however, outdoor recreation, fitness, and entertainment activities, including outdoor gym activities, will be allowed, with a maximum limit of 50 people outdoors.

• Retail stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, and indoor and outdoor shopping centers and malls will be limited to a maximum of 50% of capacity, with curbside pick-up encouraged.

• Faith institutions, funeral homes, mortuaries, and cemeteries will be limited to a maximum of 25% of capacity or 100 people indoors (whichever is smaller), or 150 people outdoors.

• Office workplaces will be required to utilize remote work to the maximum extent possible, with public-facing offices closed to the public.

• Personal services businesses will be allowed to continue to operate with health and safety measures in place.

• Long-term care facilities can allow limited outdoor visitation, following established health and safety protocols.

Oregon counties that are successful in reducing their COVID-19 risk levels in the coming weeks and months will be able to incrementally move to lower risk levels.

Last week, state authorities issued a $90,000 fine to Courthouse Fitness Club, which has a location in north Keizer, for refusing to abide by the recent freeze order.