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SamCare Express locations halt regular services, switch to COVID-only focus

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RN Katie Hennick delivers a COVID-19 vaccine at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis.

SamCare Express locations in Albany and Corvallis will pause usual health care services and instead shift the focus to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations starting Monday, Jan. 17 in an effort to address the surge in omicron cases.

According to a Samaritan Health Services news release, SamCare Express Albany will be offering only COVID-19 testing by appointment. Only PCR tests will be offered. Results are expected to take one to three days. Appointments can be scheduled online at https://www.samhealth.org/find-a-location/s/samcare-express-albany.

COVID-19 testing is also available by appointment for those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have a known exposure at Samaritan’s drive-through testing locations in Albany, Corvallis and Lebanon.

Homeless shelters across Canada are feeling the strain of COVID-19 as outbreaks of the Omicron variant bring to light growing concerns around resident safety.

SamCare Corvallis will transition solely to offering COVID-19 vaccines by appointment. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be offered. According to the news release, some walk-ins may be available at times, but appointments are strongly encouraged. Appointments can be scheduled online at https://www.samhealth.org/ExpressCorvallis.

“We hope to reduce or eliminate wait times and serve more patients with these changes,” Amie Bodi, associate vice president of acute care for Samaritan, said in the news release.

Daily update: The Oregon Health Authority reported 8,672 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Friday. This brings the cumulative number of cases in Oregon to 513,391. OHA also logged 13 new deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 5,883.

Benton County recorded 196 new instances of the virus, making the total in the county 9,697. No new deaths were reported.

Linn County logged 246 new COVID-19 cases. The cumulative number of cases in the county is 18,319. There were no new local deaths reported on Friday.

Breakthrough cases: OHA also released the coronavirus vaccine breakthrough report Thursday, showing that 73.6% of all cases between Jan. 2 and Jan. 8 occurred in unvaccinated individuals. According to the report, there were 45,334 cases during the week. Of these cases, 26.4% occurred in vaccinated individuals.

The OHA report shows that to date, 3.5% of all vaccine breakthrough cases have been hospitalized and 1% have died. The average age of vaccinated people who have died is 81.

Vaccines remain the most effective tool to reduce the spread of the virus, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Hospitalizations: There are 811 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon, which is 34 more than the previous report. There are also 153 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds, nine more than the last data release.

Forty-two adult ICU beds are unoccupied, making for a 6% availability statewide. There are also 222 available adult non-ICU beds, which is a 5% availability.

Vaccinations: OHA reported that 20,623 new doses of coronavirus vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry on Thursday. The seven-day running average is 16,382.

According to Friday’s report, around 3 million people have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and about 2.79 million people have completed a vaccine series.

National numbers: On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 875,915 new and presumptive COVID-19 cases for the United States. The cumulative number of cases for the country is around 64.2 million.

The CDC also logged 1,962 new COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the country’s death toll to 844,841.

Maddie Pfeifer covers public safety for Mid-Valley Media. She can be contacted at 541-812-6091 or Madison.Pfeifer@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter via @maddiepfeifer_

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