COVID-19 Numbers Continue to Rise; Flu Not as Deadly as COVID-19; Over 400 Pumpkins Distributed; Clamming Closed North of Jetty; LIHEAP Energy Relief

COVID-19 Numbers Continue to Rise

After a more moderate week of coronavirus cases was reported the Oregon Health Authority says another 373 cases were added yesterday.  The Lane County total for yesterday was 29 and the number of individuals in the hospital increased to 14.  The total infectious rate for the county has decreased to 176.  That number had been over the 200 mark for just over a week.  There are no new reports of COVID-19 for the Florence area.  There were 11 new deaths reported by the OHA, one of the deaths was a 94 year old Lane County woman who died on October 4th but is just now being added to the list.  Total cases for Lane County is 2,242 and numbers for the state are 40,810.  The death toll now stands at 646

Flu Not as Deadly as COVID-19

The Oregon Health authority says the data is clear, COVID-19 is more deadly than the seasonal flu, in part because there is no vaccine for the virus, but as flu season starts to take hold, OHA is recommending that people get their flu shots so as not to further complicate their health in a time where a second potentially deadly virus is out there.  Local entities like Peace Harbor’s clinic and Rite Aid are currently offering flu vaccines, but you can also visit for more locations.  The OHA is also offering an online question and answer session for individuals at noon on Tuesday October 27th.  You can link to the session at the Oregon Health Authority’s Facebook page.

Over 400 Pumpkins Distributed

Yesterday afternoon there were more than 200 cars that rolled through the Coast Radio Great Pumpkin Drive Thru Giveaway.  Volunteers from Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue and the Florence Police Department handed out more that 400 pumpkins and bags of candy to kids in vehicles.  It was different from years past in that there were no games and hotdogs, but there were plenty of smiling faces from young and old alike.  The event went smoothly and the last car rolled through at 5:40 in the evening.  There were some pumpkins that were left over and during the day today they will be made available at Florence True Value along with a few extra bags of candy on a first come first serve basis.  Mayor Joe Henry also participated in the handing out of pumpkins.  Dozens of businesses supported the giveaway this year making it a successful event.

Clamming Closed North of Jetty

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has closed razor clamming from the mouth of the Siuslaw river to the north.  Recent samples have concluded that the level of the biotoxin demoic acid has exceeded safe levels, however you can still harvest them from the south jetty all the way to the California border.  The ODA will continue testing every two weeks.  Bay clam harvesting and crab harvesting remains open along the entire Oregon coast.

LIHEAP Energy Relief

A story earlier this week reported that Lane County was the recipient of 1.5 million dollars in energy relief funds.  Those funds will be available through the Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program and Florence residents can begin signing up for those benefits on Monday November 2nd at Siuslaw Outreach Services.  Funds are also being made available if a family or individual was negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.  More information can be found at