Businesses React to COVID-19
Businesses all around Florence are gearing up to protect their workers and their clientele as concerns about the spread of COVID-19 ramps up across the state. Oregon Pacific Bank is the first of the banks in Florence to close its lobby doors and is servicing their customers through drive in and online banking. Ellen Huntingdon, with OPB told Coast Radio News that it is out of an abundance of caution considering the number of at-risk members.
“Our Business is still open but our lobby is closed to the public based on a general concern for the community and the health and well-being of our community members.”
Huntingdon did not give a specific timeline only that they were working with the guidelines put forth by the Oregon Health Authority, Lane County, and the CDC. OPB is currently the only bank in Florence to close its lobby. Umpqua, Banner, US Bank and First Community Credit Union are currently open. Each branch said that they were sanitizing regularly and some have removed coffee and snacks from their lobby.
Cyclist Killed at Intersection
A tragic accident yesterday left one cyclist dead. The crash between a truck and a bicycle occurred at 3:28 yesterday on highway 126 just east of the 101 126 intersection where ongoing construction was happening. Details are limited to how the accident happened. Commander John Pitcher with the Florence Police Department says officers are investigating in conjunction with the Oregon State Police and that further details will be made available after the investigation is completed.
Update Coronavirus Numbers
The Oregon Health authority has updated it list of people infected by the coronavirus. Yesterday the list saw a significant jump with cases now totaling 65 in Oregon. This number does not include two new cases confirmed for Lane County. According to reports a 60 year old Springfield woman that died of cardiac arrest on Saturday at Riverbend hospital tested posthumously for the virus, but results came back yesterday and were not in time to make OHA’s daily update. Additionally a 69 year old man from Eugene tested positive and is home resting and is considered medically stable by doctors. Health officials believe that the second case is one of community transmission since the man had not recently done any travelling. While the positive cases rise there is also and increase in negative tests that keeps widening the gap. That number is nearing 1000 with 215 cases pending. Health Authorities are saying that more tests are being made available. As a result of the increase in cases Governor Kate Brown has extended the school closing date until at least April 28 now.
With Schools now being closed until the end of april Charter Spectrum has announced that they will provide free internet services for households with k-12 students and college students. There are many households in the Florence area with students that do not have access to internet to do online studies. Siuslaw High school principal Kerri Tatum says this will allow students to work on class work during the long hiatus. Lessons are currently being delivered by staff and students that do not have access to a computer can get a loan of a Chromebook or other internet ready device from the schools.
Gas Prices Steady Despite Record Lows
While more people are staying at home, the demand for gasoline is decreasing during a time when it is normally increasing. Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says that even with crude oil prices at a record low near 25 dollars a barrel, Florence and most of Oregon are not seeing much in decreased prices at this time. She says mainly due to the tight competition of local stations.
”As long as you have those stations in that tight window who are all so competitive with one another, your market is just one where we don’t see prices fall as quickly as they go up.”
Currently the average price of a gallon of regular gas is $2.66 a gallon in Florence.
Businesses continue to respond to requests for updates regarding their operations here in Florence. The 37th street Laundromat and showers are maintaining regular hours and provide drop off laundry services, Nosh eatery is providing take-out service Thursday through Monday from 2-7 pm, The Florence Dental Clinic is postponing elective procedures but will be available for urgent care. Streets Insurance is operating under normal hours with a focus on sanitizing throughout the day. The list continues to grow and you can find the updated list on the coast radio website and Facebook.