Two More Florence COVID-19 Cases; Vaccine Concerns; City Lights The Holiday Display

Two More Florence COVID-19 Cases

The Florence area has reported an additional two cases of the coronavirus.  Yesterday’s report from Lane County Public Health shows the count at 48.  During a live update from LCPH yesterday Jason Davis said that cases continue to rise around the county and precautions need to be heeded to stem the flood of new cases.  There is no indication that this week’s increase is directly related to an outbreak in the area, but Davis did say that many of the new cases being reported are associated with different types of outbreaks.

“Only 15.9 percent of our overall outbreak cases are college age that’s around 104 individuals tied to those outbreaks.  25.1 percent are tied to workplace outbreaks, or 164 individuals.  And 40.4 percent are tied to long term care facilities cases or 264 individuals.”

Lane County, overall, reported 77 new cases yesterday for a total of 4,614.  Davis did say that hospitalizations did drop yesterday to 39, however there have been new deaths reported, 6 in the past 2 days.  Statewide there were 1,151 new cases reported and 21 new deaths.

Vaccine Concerns

While covid-19 cases are on the rise the talk is now turning to vaccines and senior public health official with Lane County, Dr. Patrick Luedtke says he realizes that people have concerns about the safety of the vaccines.

“These first two vaccines, the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, that will likely get FDA approval, they are not living virus so you can’t get sick, you can’t get the infection.”

Luedtke says there are a few misconceptions out there, but the safety protocols in place in the clinical trials have worked to resolve all issues.  He says that while it is unprecedented that a vaccine would come out in the same calendar year as a virus, they have more than 15 years of research and information regarding viruses that helped to make the process come together more quickly.  The latest information on who will receive the first vaccines pinpoints health care workers and long-term care facilities.

City Lights The Holiday Display

The City of Florence lit the downtown light display last night at 7 pm without much fanfare.  Several officials from the city were on hand including Mayor Joe Henry, councilman Woody Woodbury, and city Manager Erin Reynolds.  The lighting was kept secret so as not to attract a crowd.  Officials were worried that if the public were informed that crowd size could exceed gathering restrictions set forth by Governor Kate Brown.  Mayor Joe Henry was lifted above the official tree at the interpretive center where he ceremoniously dusted the tree as the display came to life.

“(it was) an outstanding display and it was fun doing the tree lighting ceremony again, even though nobody could be here to see it.  But we will be posting it all over media so we hope that everybody gets a chance to come down and enjoy the beauty of Christmas in Old Town.”

In his remarks the Mayor also included the beauty of displays around the entire city.  The city is creating a media presentation that will be available on the city’s Facebook page and on the city’s website at  Mayor Henry, we were told is afraid of heights…

“Well it was pretty exciting actually the best part of it was that it was dark so I couldn’t see the ground so it didn’t bother me too bad.”