Cases Flow From small Gatherings; New Councilors Sworn In; New Cases Mount; Job Listing for OYA

Cases Flow From small Gatherings

Two more COVID-19 cases have arisen in Florence.  The count is now at 105 and according to Jason Davis with Lane County Public Health the numbers are concerning because they are not a result of a group or social gathering.

“it’s been more difficult recently for us to really trace back some of these cases, what we are seeing is two or three cases here in one household and two or three cases over here and those households don’t know each other.”

Davis also said that the last spike was likely part of family holiday gatherings and he sees the likelihood of the numbers continuing to increase in the upcoming days and weeks.  Davis also confirmed the social gathering the previous week that was responsible for sending 3 people to the hospital was part of a bible study group. He says that most communities, including Florence are experiencing COVID fatigue, and are taking more chances.  Something he says is dangerous and potentially deadly and impacted by the current state of affairs.

“It’s that they have a disagreement with the level of severity that COVID presents.  They don’t fundamentally or ideologically agree.”

Davis says that even with the vaccines, the way to make sure the virus is contained is with daily vigilance in following the safety protocols.

New Councilors Sworn In

Last night’s City Council meeting saw the induction of two new councilors, Sally Wantz and Bill Meyer, after their and Mayor Henry’s oath of office the new council got down to business with discussing the process of choosing a replacement for the vacant council seat.  Councilor Sally Wantz spoke to the process of a majority vote and voiced her opinion that a unanimous vote would be something she would like to see when it comes to selecting the next individual.

“I suggest that it’s in the best interest of this new council, the four of us, as we begin our lives together, that there be 100% concesus.”

Wantz even put forth the idea that the city charter could be changed to require a consensus.  But that according to Councilor Woody Woodbury could potentially be a long, drawn out process.  All councilors and Mayor Henry agreed that a unanimous decision would be desirable, but not necessarily expedient.  The process of vetting candidates should begin immediately with hopes of a possible vote through a special meeting on January 11.

New Cases Mount

There were 728 new cases of COVID-19 reported yesterday by the Oregon Health Authority with 62 of those cases coming from Lane County.  6 new deaths were also confirmed with one being an 83 year old woman from Lane County.  To date Lane County has 7,229 cases and there are 28 people currently hospitalized.  The state also reported that there has been a total of 51,275 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered state wide.  According to Jason Davis with LCPH the protocols on how and who gets the vaccine could potentially change after a meeting with state health officials today.  Current plans are for primary care physicians to receive the vaccine next.  The rollout of the vaccine has been relatively slow in the state with about one quarter of the available doses having been administered to date.

Job Listing for OYA

The Oregon Youth Authority which operates Camp Florence is currently looking for a full time group life coordinator who would be responsible for supervising youth at the camp.  Qualified candidates must be at least 21 years old and can visit for more information or to apply.