Covid Cases In Woodburn

An excerpt from Mayor Eric Swenson in the City of Woodburn Weekly E-Blast describing publicly released Covid virus statistics in our city along with possible exaggeration by the press:

“…a story appeared last week in the alternative newspaper, the Salem Reporter, that used the words “epicenter” and “hotspot” to describe the number of COVID cases in Woodburn. This story was reprinted verbatim in other news outlets throughout the state. The story had a number of unfortunate labels and interpretations – including the inaccurate reference to our city as an epicenter.

The statistics of the story were based on numbers from Marion County Health released for the first time by zip code. Our zip code, as well as the zip codes where Sublimity and Gervais are located, currently have a higher rate of COVID cases than other zip codes.

Our zip code is a large area that runs almost to St. Paul and half way to Molalla. In this zip code, better referred to as part of North Marion County, there are a number of factors that explain this: a large number of seniors and other medically and economically vulnerable populations, some that are hard to reach and some where the message took a few weeks to take hold.

The number of cases in this zip code, about 100, represents .003% of our population. As is true in national trends, the vast majority of people diagnosed return home and recover. We’ve had 14 deaths in the entire county over the past 6 weeks, a portion of those, likely 25% have been in our zip code (those numbers have not been released to us). In nearly every fatality in our county, also mirroring the national trend, the residents have been of advanced age with underlying conditions.”