Siuslaw River Bridge

Businesses Begin Reopening; Best Harbor Competition Returns; New COVID-19 Cases; Increased DUII Enforcement Planned

Businesses Begin Reopening

It will not be business as usual as local establishments reopen their doors today.  The beginning of the Phase One plan of Governor Kate Brown still comes with heavy restrictions as places like restaurants deal with social distancing and a new way of doing business.  Yesterday on Bay Street the owners of 1285 Restobar were loading bar stools into their vehicles.  Kurt Hargins said the restrictions will not allow the bar in his restaurant to be seated, taking away valuable space.  He said business has been pretty steady during the take-out phase, and he expects challenges during the next several weeks.  Hargins says they will still rely heavily on take-out for those unsure about returning to normal social activities.  Bridgeport Market owner Jay Cable says he is looking forward to opening his deck and can also seat a limited number of customers inside the building.  Sunshine today should be a good boost for businesses too, allowing for some outdoor seating.  According to Governor Kate Brown if the virus numbers climb rapidly, full restrictions could return as phase one is a way to see how the virus reacts.  She says it will take time to assess

“All counties entering phase one will need to stay in that phase for at least 3 weeks before any furthering of restrictions.”

Hargins says he is cautious about moving to a full menu, just in case they are forced to go back to take-out only.

Best Harbor Competition Returns

A year ago Florence was in the top 5 runners-upin the best Harbor in the US campaign.  They shared that space with one other west coast city, Sausalito California.  The competition has returned this year and voting is ongoing until May 31st.  last year’s winner was Padanaram a coastal village in Massachusetts.  More than 4 million people voted in last years competition.  You can visit usharbors.com/bestharbor to cast your vote.

New COVID-19 Cases

67 new corona virus cases and 3 new deaths have been reported according to the Oregon Health Authority.  Bringing the total number of cases in the state to 3,407.  Lane county cases remain at 60.  The three new deaths were all people in their 60’s, two from Multnomah County and one from Washington County.  All had underlying health conditions.

Increased DUII Enforcement Planned

May 22-25 the Florence Police Department will be conducting High Visibility DUII Enforcement.  The city has received additional funds for increased enforcement from Oregon Impact who administers DUII grant funding in the state.  The increased enforcement is generally conducted over increased traffic periods like holidays.  Generally there is a large influx of visitors to the coast for Memorial Day Weekend, indications are though that this could be a much less congested holiday this year, but there is no guarantee of that with the reopening of Lane County.  The governor has still limited travel during phase one, but that does not ensure that visitors will avoid the coast.