Governor Outlines Educational Possibilities; Record Number of Deaths Reported; Road Striping; Gas Prices Hold

Governor Outlines Educational Possibilities

At yesterday’s press conference governor Kate Brown laid the foundation for what the new school year might look like amid the covid-19 pandemic.  Brown said it was important to get students back in the classroom, but how the pandemic reacts in the next month will determine how the school year will move forward.  Brown says there is not a one size fits all solution to the problem, and Dr Dean Sidelinger with the Oregon Health Authority gave some direction as to how schools, specifically in rural areas may be able to open to in class education.  He said there are a number of factors to consider

“Like the prevalence of the virus, the availability of testing, the capacity of local health care systems to provide quality care, and the readiness of our public health system to work with schools to contain any outbreaks that may occur.”

Sidelinger say local school districts will be able to make local decisions on how to move forward.  The current model that Siuslaw Schools is looking at will be a splitting of the week between two groups, one that will meet Monday-Wednesday and the other that will meet Tuesday-Thursday.  Sidelinger says there is an exception to the hybrid model, he says he would like to see kindergarten through 3rd grade back in class.

“Younger students need access to in person education to both the literacy and numeracy skills that they need that are critical to their to their continued learning.”

Sidelinger says the rate of infection is generally lower in the younger students.  They get less sick and are less likely to transmit the virus.  Governor Brown stressed this is an ongoing process and they will continue to plan over the next several weeks.

Record Number of Deaths Reported

The Oregon Health Authority is reporting 342 new cases of the coronavirus across the state with a staggering 14 new deaths to add to the state’s death toll.  There are now 303 deaths attributed to COVID-19.  The deaths occurred in 8 different counties across the state, but none in Lane County.  One Yamhill County resident was the youngest at 26 years old.  Health authorities say COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 played a significant role in his death.  4 counties reported more than 30 cases with Umatilla and Multnomah registering 75 and 74 respectively.  Lane County added 6 cases for a total of 464 and the Florence area remains at 18 for known cases.

Road Striping

There will be delays on Kingwood this afternoon as crews work on the striping of the section of roadway between 10th and 25th streets.  Crews will also be present on Rhododendron Drive from 35th to Sebastion.  Drivers are asked to use extreme caution if they find it necessary to travel on that section of roadway.  Even though the paint used for striping dries quickly, it can still be problematic for drivers if they cross over a freshly painted line.  The city and county will deny any reimbursement claims if a driver crosses over wet paint.

The national average for a price of regular gas has seen its first dip since april, but in Oregon the price remained steady for the last week at $2.66 a gallon.  The same goes for Florence that has an average price of $2.51 a gallon.  Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says the coronavirus is effecting pricing as cases grow and driving habits return to a level similar to the early pandemic times.  Oregon is currently in 4th place for the highest pump prices in the nation.