Education Outline Fluid; Virus Numbers; Traffic/Gas; Van To Roll Back Into Action

Education Outline Fluid

The Oregon Health authority and the Oregon Department of Education in light of the coronavirus pandemic are reviewing policies regarding the reinstitution of classes in the fall.  New guidelines out on Wednesday are being reviewed by Siuslaw School board and staff.  For the past several months staff has been meeting twice a week to go over the onslaught of changes and updates and the schools are working on three scenarios for fall studies.

“That’s the hard part for everybody, is that there’s been this conditional updating every couple of weeks and so again what I said two weeks ago may not be applicable to the new conditions in the future.

Rising cases of COVID-19 outside of Lane County will undoubtedly have an impact on how the school year will look.  Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak says that regardless of the situation in Lane County and western Lane in particular, the schools are administered by the state, and that means rules instituted because of problems in Multnomah County affect how Florence’s school year will go.

“School’s are held outside of the county level restrictions, how adults operate in the county is different from ODE’s mandate with schools involving minor children and the governor said schools operate on a state wide service model.”

Grzeskowiak says unfortunately firm decisions will not be made until at least mid august, and then depending on the effect that covid-19 is having at the time.

Virus Numbers

There hasn’t been a day this week where the coronavirus numbers dropped below the 100 mark and yesterday the new numbers were 124 for the state.  In Lane County there were 5 new cases to report and according to officials those cases can be attributed to a house party in the Eugene/Springfield area and involve individuals in their late teens.  The Portland area still holds the highest concentration of new cases.  The new total for Oregon is 7,568 and two new deaths are also attributed to the virus.  A man and woman from Marion County, both 83 years old and both with underlying health conditions.  Lane County’s total is now at 112 with 4 of those cases being presumptive.


While there has definitely been increased traffic in the Florence area, AAA Oregon is reporting that travel around the state is down 15 % from last summer.  It is the first recorded decline in summer travel since 2009, however the most popular form of transportation this summer is by car.  97 % of drivers are choosing to drive to their destinations.  This is causing increases in gas prices due to increased demand.  Prices in Florence have seen a jump in the last week with a regular gallon of gas now at an average of $2.46 a gallon a five cent increase over last week.  Marie Dodd with AAA says we can see prices continue to rise through the 4th of July holiday.

Van To Roll Back Into Action

The Friends of Florence Van that transports individuals to Eugene for Cancer treatments will begin operations again beginning Monday July 6.  The van had been shut down since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.  New restrictions will be in place for operations according to Friends of Florence Operations Chief Bart Mealer.  The 5 day a week service will only be able to carry 4 patients on the 15 passenger bus.  Passengers will also be required to wear face masks, and temperatures will be taken.  No one with a temperature over 100 degrees will be allowed to ride.  The bus is equipped with sanitizer and a hand-held electrostatic sprayer that will disinfect seats between operations.