KWSO News for Mon., Nov. 22, 2021

COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are now available to all adults in Oregon. The weekend announcement came after weeks of a steady decline in cases. But OPB’s April Ehrlich reports, that there’s still a long road of recovery ahead.  Case numbers are about half what they were during the Delta surge in September. And hospitalizations have been cut by MORE than half.  There are now about 400 COVID patients in Oregon — but state epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger says that’s still straining the hospital system and that the state mask mandate will likely last through early next year, if not longer.  He suggests people still take precautions — like wearing masks and social distancing — especially with indoor gatherings over the holidays.

With many planning for a Turkey Dinner this week – we wanted to make sure you know how to store your uncooked turkey safely.  Frozen raw turkey should be stored in the freezer until you are ready to thaw it. Make sure your freezer is at 0˚F or below. Don’t store a turkey in a place where you can’t closely monitor the temperature, such as in a car trunk, on the kitchen table or in a cooler.  Fresh raw turkey can be stored in the refrigerator 1–2 days before cooking.  Never thaw your turkey by leaving it out on the counter. A turkey must thaw at a safe temperature. When a turkey stays out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, its temperature becomes unsafe even if the center is still frozen. Germs can grow rapidly in the “danger zone” between 40°F and 140°F.  You should Thaw your turkey in the refrigerator.  Keep your turkey in its original wrapping and place it in a container before putting it in the refrigerator. The container will prevent the turkey’s juice from dripping on other food.  Allow about 24 hours of thawing for each 4 to 5 pounds of turkey.  A turkey thawed in the refrigerator can remain in the refrigerator for 1–2 days before cooking.  You can also opt to Thaw your turkey in cold water.    Be sure your turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag before you place it in the sink. Make sure your turkey is fully covered with the cold tap water and change the water every 30 minutes.  You’ll need to allow about 30 minutes of thawing for each pound of turkey.  A turkey thawed in cold water must be cooked immediately after thawing.  You can learn more at

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has begun releasing juvenile fall-run Chinook salmon into the Klamath River now that river conditions have improved with cooler temperatures and increased flows that give the young salmon their best chance at survival and reaching the Pacific Ocean.  Drought conditions impacting the Klamath River – including a disease outbreak – would have killed about 90 percent of the young fish according to scientific projections, had those fish been released this past spring as is the standard practice.The California Department of Fish and Wildlife so far has released over a million juvenile Chinook salmon, held over the summer, into the Klamath River.