Siuslaw River Boardwalk

City Wheels Keep Turning; Commissioner Claims Policy Is Public Health Creation; New Totals, New Deaths; Backflow Testing; LRAPA Calls for Burn Ban Due to COVID-19

City Wheels Keep Turning

The City of Florence plans to move forward with construction projects that have been in the works for some time.  Two projects will be going out to bid according to Public Works Director Mike Miller.

“One is a short little sewer project out on Rhododendron Drive between Treewood and South Harbor Vista Drive.”

Miller says a property that has a failed septic system will be annexed into the city which will allow it and other properties to be able to hook up to city sewer.  The other project is an ODOT funded project that provides safe routes to school and will consist of adding sidewalks, ADA ramps and other upgrades along Oak Street from 20th street to 35th street.  It also includes a crossing on highway 101.

“In May we will be having the pedestrian crossing on Highway 101, the rectangular rapid flash beacon project will be going out to bid.”

ODOT awarded Florence the funds for that project over the winter.

Commissioner Claims Policy Is Public Health Creation

County Commissioner Jay Bozievich says the policy of not reporting COVID-19 cases to specific communities is a policy that was wholly vetted by Public Health officials and not a policy developed by the County Commissioners.  Bozievich did say that he had had a discussion with public health officials about the efficacy of breaking out more communities, but was advised that it could be problematic.

“Once you say west of the tunnel, people can still drill down and figure out the name of a patient, possibly.”

While it may not be a popular policy with every community member, Bozievich says it does help to protect any individual that may be affected by Covid-19.

“It’s really an issue of trying to protect patient privacy and also not to let people get a false sense of security if that reported positive in Lane County is in Oak Ridge, that doesn’t mean that Florence is in the clear.

Commissioner Bozievich also passed along the policy developed by Lane County Public Health that includes the Oregon Revised Statute which says reporting of information obtained during an outbreak is not subject to disclosure under the public records law.

New Totals, New Deaths

The Oregon Health Authority released new totals in the COVID-19 pandemic which includes 2 additional deaths related to the virus.  One was a Washington County man in his 90’s and the other a Marion County woman in her 70’s.  both had underlying health conditions. 65 new cases were added to the totals bringing the number to 1132 people infected with the virus.  That includes 2 new cases in Lane County.  One is a man in his 40’s within the Eugene/Springfield area who is currently stable and at home, the second is a woman in her 40’s who lives outside of the Eugene/Springfield area who is also medically stable and at home.

Backflow Testing

The City of Florence over the next several weeks will be doing its annual spring testing of the city waters backflow assembly.  Residents may recognize trucks from Olson LLC in their neighborhood and may receive a knock at the door to notify them that their water will need to be shut off for a few minutes to conduct the test.  Megan Messmer, with the city of Florence says Olson LLC employees will be practicing safe distancing during any interaction that they may have with homeowners or the public.  The city has even released photographs of the 3 service people conducting the tests.

Jon Parks
Leland Smith
Allen Brockman

LRAPA Calls for Burn Ban Due to COVID-19

The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency has closed outdoor burning early this season, but not for dry conditions, but rather for concerns surrounding COVID-19 health concerns.  The ban will remain in effect until further notice and may not be lifted before seasonal conditions require a ban due to dry weather.