Education Before Citation
Despite rumors, the Florence Police department says they are not currently engaged in active enforcement of social distancing policies under the Stay home / save lives executive order issued by governor Kate Brown. Commander John Pitcher with the Florence Police Department says that prior to phase one reopening they did provide some advice to businesses as part of an educational plan but says they have done nothing more since then. City manager Erin Reynolds says the Oregon state Police are the lead agency for compliance and enforcement, and the city will follow up on complaints as they come in, but initial contact will not be punitive.
“Warning, education for compliance and then from there as the situation arises we will respond. That’s our typical posture as a police department.”
Reynolds says reporting violations should initially be sent to Lane County to their non-emergency call center. She adds of course you can also call the Florence Police non-emergency number too. She says there have been some complaints of employees that are not wearing masks, which is a requirement under Phase one of the reopening plan.
Hotels Receiving Bookings
Despite the recommendations to not travel more than 50 miles under the Stay Home/Save Lives order, Florence is still seeing some increase in visitors. Ron Moore with the River House Inn and Old Town inn says despite advising people of the order they have seen an increase over last week in the number of rooms that are booked. Currently the Inns are at 29% capacity for this evening and 53% capacity for Saturday and 28% for Monday. Moore says they are being very cautious and making sure that staff has a sufficient supply of PPE and are diligent with cleaning all public areas. Jim Meyers with Driftwood Shores did not give specific numbers, but says they are comparing similar numbers from last year. Numbers from the Best Western were not currently available. The River House Inn and Old Town Inn have been open for business travel during the entire COVID-19 period, Driftwood shores along with Best Western reopened on the 15th. A patron at the Bridgeport Market yesterday said she was concerned about the influx if visitors despite the warnings and executive orders and plans to self quarantine through Memorial Day.
Parks Set to Open
It wont be in time for Memorial Day, but state parks will return to limited camping on June 9th. the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has announced that park with limited camping opportunities are taking advance reservations, but the caveat is that some of the amenities may not be available at all parks. Limited funding has forced some parks to operate with limited staff due to funding. Park funding generally comes from revenue generated by campers and that money has been missing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. OPRD is recommending that if you choose to camp, do so close to home, don’t travel if you are sick, and bring everything you need with you such as trash bags, food, water, cleaning supplies. Most parks will have skeleton crews and that means less attention to common problems like noise and pets, trash, landscaping and cleaning. Interpretive activities and Ranger Programs will also be limited if available at all.
No New Lane County COVID Cases
Lane County COVID-19 tests have reached the 8,300 mark. There are still only 65 confirmed cases in the county with one presumptive case. Statewide the number of tests conducted topped the 105 thousand mark. There has been one new death reported in conjunction with the virus, a 93 year old Polk County woman with underlying health conditions died on Wednesday. There have also been 24 new confirmed cases in the state bringing the total to 3,817.