Air Quality Alert Still in Effect; Dune Recreational Area Closed; New Coronavirus Cases; COVID-19 Weekly Update; Pet Memorial Day

Air Quality Alert Still in Effect

The Air quality for the Florence/Mapleton area continues to be in the unhealthy range.  According to the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency’s air quality maps both Florence and Mapleton are in the 178 range which means that groups may experience breathing problems.  The Air Quality alert already warns people with respiratory problems to stay inside and avoid activities that would normally cause exertion.  The warning is expected to stay in effect until Monday when the possibility of rain moves into the area.  The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality reports that people with severe health issues should follow the advice of their health care providers.  Smoke from fires will continue to affect the coastal region for the next several days although the Florence area may see some clearing overnight tonight and into Saturday morning.

Dune Recreational Area Closed

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a closure notice for all parts of the Siuslaw National Forest including the recreational dunes until at least the 24th of September.  The Oregon Dunes Recreation area and all developed campground, day use areas and wilderness areas will be closed to public use until September 24th.  Concern over recent wind storm damage, wildfires and resources is the primary reason for the order.  All public access to National Forest properties is affected. More information is available at

New Coronavirus Cases

Lane County has reported 4 new cases of the coronavirus in their latest report.  There are no new deaths in Lane County due to the virus and there are also no new cases for the Florence area.  57,928 individuals have been tested in the county to date.  Due to fires in Lane County, Lane County Public Health reports that their goal of tests administered for last week was not met.  The week ending September 6th reported over 400 fewer tests than the week before with 328 tests administered.  Statewide there are 187 new cases reported yesterday and 3 new deaths.  One of the deaths, a Lane County Man, had been previously reported and included in Thursday’s update for Lane County.  497 people have died with the coronavirus since monitoring began..

COVID-19 Weekly Update

The Oregon Health Authority’s weekly report on COVID-19 show another drop in weekly cases.  The number of new cases dropped another 5% this past week which means the overall testing percentage is down .1% to 4.3.  Since the peak of the pandemic in July infections are down 30%.  The age group with the largest number of new infections continues to be individuals in the 20-29 age group.  OHA says there have been 5 weeks of steady decline, and deaths are also declining.

Pet Memorial Day

This Sunday is national pet memorial day and Oregon Coast Humane Society Executive Director Charles Brown says it is a good time to commemorate the lives of former pets.  Brown hope to re-establish a pet grief support group for the Siuslaw region, but says there are a couple of online resources that can assist in grieving. and are two resources that Brown says have helped him, his family and friends and clients of OCHS.