Mapleton Water Woes Continue; Air Quality Improves; 2 New Coronavirus Cases for Florence; Symptoms of Smoke Exposure Mimick COVID-19

Mapleton Water Woes Continue

It may yet be months before the water in Mapleton is safe to drink.  A letter that was sent out to Mapleton residents purportedly from the Mapleton Water District details the process the district has been going through to upgrade and replace damaged systems.  The letter details two major power outages that caused the initial failure and was exacerbated by improper shut down of fire hydrants during the Sweet Creek Milepost 2 fire.  The water district hope to have a temporary solution to filter their water, a portable skid has been ordered and they hope to have it in place within two weeks.  The Mapleton Water District is also awaiting funding for replacing the damaged system, but have to wait until October 2 to have a grant and low interest loan approved by the state.  They hope, according to the letter, to have the money by November 1.  It will likely takes several weeks, if not months to have new equipment delivered and then installed.  In the meantime the boil water notice remains in effect.

Air Quality Improves

According to the latest air quality index the air for the Florence area has improved drastically from yesterday morning.  By 4 pm yesterday the sky began to clear and the sun even peeked out for a short period as the change in winds lowered the AQI to a safer 68.  According to the LRAPA website air quality below 100 is acceptable but exposure for more than 24 hours can still mean problems for people with respiratory issues.  The Air Quality Alert will still remain in effect for the next 3 days as shifting winds could cause conditions to worsen.  In Mapleton the AQI is still in the unhealthy range at 151, over in the valley the AQI remains in the 400’s for most of Eugene Springfield.  Some good news to report on the Holiday Farm Fire burning east of Springfield, ODF has reported the fire is 60% contained, but no rain is expected to  help with the fires until late tomorrow night.

2 New Coronavirus Cases for Florence

There have been 38 new cases of the coronavirus reported for Lane County, bringing the total number of cases to 867.  There have been 14 deaths overall due in part to the pandemic.  There is only one hospitalization reported though with 65 cases currently considered infectious.  Out of the 38 cases there have been 2 new confirmed cases for the Florence Area bringing that total to 22.  There are no additional details on the new cases.  Statewide the total number of new cases is 151.  The state’s death toll is at 511.  Wildfires and hazardous air continue to limit the number of tests being administered.

Symptoms of Smoke Exposure Mimick COVID-19

Officials from the Oregon Health Authority say to be aware of signs of smoke exposure, some of the signs are also symptoms of COVID-19.  Cough, difficulty breathing, runny nose, headache and fatigue are symptoms that both issues have in common.  If they are accompanied by fever, chills, muscle and body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and a loss of taste or smell, these can be signs of the coronavirus.