COVID-19 Update; Fire Details Released; Where Did the Flu Go?; New Bus Expected

COVID-19 Update

The instances of COVID-19 increasing in Florence is a concern for all as Lane County Public Health Liaison, Jason Davis has reported that a social gathering in Florence is responsible for 4 of the latest cases in the area and 3 of the four individuals are hospitalized according to the report.  These cases are 4 new cases reported Monday morning and the case count for Florence has now risen to 82.  LCPH is asking individuals to not participate in social gatherings as it can be potentially deadly.  They are monitoring the situation and will let the public know if the outbreak intensifies.  Wearing of masks, hand washing, and social distancing is important and can help control the spread of the coronavirus.  Additionally, Lane County Reported 4 deaths yesterday all of which were hospitalized at PeaceHealth Riverbend when they died, all died within the two weeks.  Lane County added 35 new cases yesterday rising that total to 6,684 since the beginning of the pandemic.  Statewide there were 865 new cases for a total of 110,545.

Fire Details Released

Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue has released information regarding the Christmas Day Fire that destroyed a local home north of Florence on Sand Dune Park Drive.  SFVR received notification of the blaze around 4:53 pm.  Chief Michael Schick said that when they arrived at the home it was already fully engulfed.

“We had heard that everybody was out of the home so at that point we just went defensive and we were protecting a neighbor’s garage that was pretty close.”

Schick says that there was some damage done to the garage and that the occupants of the burned home were transported to Peace Harbor Hospital as a precaution.  Schick said  unfortunately there were two family dogs that were unaccounted for at the time of the fire.  One firefighter was also treated on scene for exhaustion.  Investigation into the origin of the blaze is being handled by SVFR Fire Marshall Tony Miller with help from the Oregon State Police Arson investigation team and personnel from the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Where Did the Flu Go?

Flu cases for the state of Oregon continue to be at a 5 year low according to the Oregon Health Authority.  Over the past several years cases of the flu tend to spike during the week of Christmas and stay elevated for the next several weeks, but this year the flu has been on the decline.  Over the last week the OHA has only one reported case of the flu in 2713 tests and that case was confined to the Columbia Gorge region of the state.  The OHA still suggests that individuals get a vaccine for the flu to help keep the virus at bay.  Currently all of the US states and territories are in the green for flu, meaning there is minimal risk for contracting the virus.

New Bus Expected

A fire several weeks ago has shuttled the Rhody Express with the exception of the Yachats connector.  There is no official comment from River Cities Taxis that operates the bus, other than to say that they are awaiting a new vehicle and do not have a delivery date, but will notify the public when it becomes available.