Three New COVID-19 Cases for Florence; Vaccine Effectiveness; City Lights Cinemas Meets Goal; Council Meeting

Three New COVID-19 Cases for Florence

Around Oregon and the U.S. reported cases of the novel coronavirus are showing signs of decreasing.  Here in Florence there has been a steady report of cases over the past month, even though new cases are showing up at a lesser rate over the past two weeks there were still 3 new cases over the weekend in Florence.  143 is the new total for cases of COVID-19 for the 97439 zip code.  Health officials say that one of the issues with testing is that if a person does not have enough of a viral load of the virus when coming in for testing, their test may prove negative and then can test positive days later.  The OHA reported 2,234 new cases over the weekend and 38 new deaths.  Lane County reported 214 cases.

Vaccine Effectiveness

Concerns about new strains of the coronavirus are bringing up questions about the vaccine’s effectiveness against the new variants of COVID-19.  Data is being gathered about several new versions of the virus, and to date the current Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are believed to be effective against them.  Dr. Heather McArthur, Medical Director for Peace Harbor Hospital says most of the science  shows that  they do work.

“Those Vaccines that we have out currently, they are effective, we believe that they will still be effective even with the variants of the virus.”

McArthur did say that she believes there may be a need for changing the vaccine annually as is the necessity with the flu virus.

“We’re looking at probably having to have vaccine perhaps every year that will have a little bit of a modification that will be able to adapt to the virus.”

The rollout of the current vaccine has met with some issues as supplies have not been available as promised and the state has had additional issues on getting those available in the arms of individuals.   Oregon has had almost a half million doses available and have administered about 300 thousand of those doses.

City Lights Cinemas Meets Goal

City Lights Cinemas has announced that it has met its Gofundme goal.  Back in November Michael Falter said that without some serious influx of funds the theater would have to close its doors.  Falter said they would need about $65,000 dollars in order to just pay bills until approximately April.  Falter said he is very thankful for the community and how they have reached out and made it possible for the theater to continue operating.

“It was just really pretty amazing to have that kind of immediate support.”

Falter said an anonymous donor offered to match up to $12,000 dollars in donations which helped them to make their goal.  City Lights Cinemas is also working on a new streaming format for their website that will allow customers to view movies that will in turn return some of the cost to the cinemas..

Council Meeting

The Florence City Council meets this evening at 5:30 pm.  The first item on the agenda is to administer the oath of office to the newly appointed city councilor Margaret Wisniewski.  The city council will also consider extending the current State of Emergency that is set to expire at the end of the month.  If approved a new declaration will be enacted extending the state of emergency until March 31.  Continuing the State of Emergency would also make the city eligible for any special COVID-19 related funds as they become available.  Access to the meeting is available on the city’s website