12 Positives Concerns Health Officials; New Reported Cases; Rods N Rhodys Car Show Cancelled; Gas Prices and Travel On the Rise

12 Positives Concerns Health Officials

Yesterday the Office of Lane County Public Health publicized a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in the rural Lane County area, this included an increase of 6 cases in the 97439 zip code accounting for a total of 12 cases.  Lane County Public Health Information Officer Jason Davis said the increase was the result of a person becoming infected in Marion County and then returning home.  The virus was then spread within that person’s sphere of influence.  Davis says that while it is an unfortunate turn of events for the area, it is currently containable.

“They do seem to be limited to social circles, there isn’t a widespread community transmission at this point.”

Davis said that each case in this section of rural Lane County was the result of someone contacting it out of the area and then bringing it back.  Davis warns of the dangers of travel during the pandemic and is concerned about the amount of traffic that is flowing towards the coast.  He says we cannot afford the virus to expand through community spread.

“The minute that we see widespread community transmission, that’s where it gets out of hand, that’s where public health can’t do contact tracing and can’t do our job in helping to contain the spread.”

Davis says the message is consistent.  Masking in public, social distancing, limiting group gathering and minimize travel.  Failure to do so will severly limit efforts to contain COVID-19.

New Reported Cases

The Oregon Health Authority reported 380 new cases  of the coronavirus yesterday bringing the state total to 12,805.  Lane County had 8 new cases to report bringing the total to 317 cases county wide.  7 new deaths were also reported, but none of those were in Lane County.  One death was reported in Newport in Lincoln County.  A 95 year old woman tested positive on June 29th and died on July 11.

Rods N Rhodys Car Show Cancelled

The announcement of the cancellation of the 2020 Rods and Rhodys car show came down today.  The Rod’s N Rhodys Inc./Transportion Solutions board of directors Gary Cargill says it wasn’t a difficult decision given the situation in Oregon and the surrounding states, but it was still a decision that he wishes they didn’t have to make.

“I think it’s our responsibility as a community non-profit to not put on a show.  Make sure the community stays safe, (it’s) just not worth risking anybody’s life.”

The hard part according to Cargill is that money raised from the show in turn goes back into the community to help people with transportation issues that cannot necessarily afford repairs.  Needs from new tires to engine and transmission repairs are paid on behalf.  The group had looked at some other options perhaps returning to Three Rivers Casino, but decided it is best to look towards next year.  Cargill says he expect next year’s show to be bigger and better.

Gas Prices and Travel On the Rise

Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says that their research shows that 97 percent of travelers this summer are deciding to go by car.  That could explain why, in a pandemic, Florence continues to see a fairly normal influx of traffic.  Dodds says that even with decreased demand for gasoline across the nation, we are not far off normal consumption

“Current demand is about 8.7 million barrels a day, but a year ago we were averaging more than 9 ½ million barrels a day, so demand was less than it was a year ago but still relatively high from where it was a few weeks ago.”

The price of a regular gallon of gas in Florence continues to rise as we move farther into the summer driving season.  This week the pumps are at $2.48.