Local COVID-19 Numbers Mount; Brown Changes Vaccine Roll-out Again; City EMAC Meeting; School Board Facilities Meeting

Local COVID-19 Numbers Mount

Over the weekend Lane County Public Health added another 157 new coronavirus cases to the list as COVID-19 shows no signs of backing down.  The Florence area also added 5 more cases to bring the 97439 total to 134.  There have been over 50 new cases for the area in the last three weeks 33 of those in the last two weeks as outbreaks have been reported at religious functions and one local business last week.  While there has not been any additional guidelines associated with the new cases, city manager Erin Reynolds ask community members to stay diligent as we continue in the extreme risk category.

“We ourselves as a community with those numbers fall into that extreme risk category it’s not just because we’ve been lumped into the large metro area but on our own we are reaching those numbers.”

The number of hospitalizations in Lane County has been fairly steady at 33, which is lucky for the Florence area.  Although the number is high it is still manageable and allows for any Florence cases that require hospitalization to be transported to Eugene/Springfield.  Peace Harbor Hospital has been training for the possibility of having to house sick patients, but at of yet have not had to take on that responsibility.

Brown Changes Vaccine Roll-out Again

Governor Kate Brown on Friday during a press conference had to update the state on vaccine distribution after finding out that the initial doses of the vaccine delivered to the state would be the only vaccines available for some time.  This was after the Oregon Health Authority had adjusted the vaccination schedule for Oregonians over the age of 65 and for K-12 teachers.  After speaking with General Gustave Perna the head of operation Warp Speed the state had to reassess their changes.

“I am shocked and appalled that the Federal Government would set an expectation with the American people on which they knew they could not deliver with such grave consequences.”

Brown says that in light of the new information they will be changing the way vaccines are distributed.  Beginning January 25 teachers and childcare providers will be eligible for vaccines followed on February 8th with the beginning of 4 waves for seniours beginning with the most elder 80+ individuals in wave one and wave two 75 and older, wave three 70 and older and wave four 65 and older.  This plan is also contingent upon receiving new supplies of the vaccine in the coming weeks.

The state has also confirmed that there were 3009 new cases confirmed since Friday’s press conference and 63 new deaths.

City EMAC Meeting

The city’s Environmental Management Advisory Committee is slated to meet tomorrow evening at 6 pm.  The committee will get updates from their subcommittees on four items including an update on noxious vegetation and litter/waste reduction.  The meeting will be available through the city’s gotowebinar platform.

School Board Facilities Meeting

This Thursday the Siuslaw School Board’s Facilities Advisory Committee meets.  They are expected to begin a discussion on the schools long range planning and address the need for major high school repairs and or replacement.  That meeting will begin at 6 pm and will be live streamed on the district’s youtube channel.