Dock Fire With Minimal Damage; Vaccine Roll-out to Elderly; Two More Positive COVID-19 Cases in Florence; Food and $$ Needed; New Business Grants For Rural Lane County

Dock Fire With Minimal Damage

An early morning fire this morning involving a semi-truck parked at the Florence goodwill had emergency crews on site trying to minimize damages.  Siuslaw Valley Fire and rescue was on the scene at about 6:30 this morning.  According to Chief Michael Schick there was a fire outside the vehicle that was parked at the dock.

“It appeared to be a fire, external to the truck, so we had a lot of difficulty getting to the truck.”

Schick said there was some damage to the plastic curtain that hangs at the dock, but that the building was not affected.

“We had a little bit of smoke inside the building and we’re just ventilating now, but no damage to the interior and minor damage to the exterior.”

The origin of the fire has not yet been determined.

Vaccine Roll-out to Elderly

Beginning Monday individuals over the age of 80 can begin getting their vaccinations for COVID-19 under a plan by the Governor and the Oregon Health Authority.  While there will be vaccines available for the roll out Dr. Bob Pelz, infectious disease specialist with PeaceHealth Medical center says logistically it will be a difficult task.

“Over 80 year olds have a hard time signing up on line to do stuff, often, so trying to reach out to that community isn’t necessarily easy, getting them transported safely into a place where they can get a vaccine is going to be challenging.”

Pelz says most of the individuals that are over 80 that have been vaccinated have been in long term care facilities, the ones living on their own will be the most difficult being that registration is mainly through online channels.  PeaceHealth has a website for people under their care providers, but that limits the number of people able to get vaccinated to their patients.  Pelz says there are over 180 thousand individuals in the over 80 age category.  Peace Harbor medical officials believe they have enough vaccines for those in Florence.

Two More Positive COVID-19 Cases in Florence

Two more positive cases of COVID-19 were added to the Florence total bringing that to 147, however county wider there were only 27 additional cases reported yesterday.  The county continues to show decreases in total daily cases as does the state.  There were 619 new cases of COVID-19 reported yesterday.  The state is reaching 500,000 vaccinations to date and there are almost 700,000 vaccines that have been delivered for distribution.  There is a potential for up to 4 new vaccines that could become available in the next several weeks.  One of the most promising ones is by Johnson&Johnson which has a 72 percent effective rate but has shown to limit the effects of the virus overall and no one that has taken the trial has been sick enough to be admitted to a hospital.

Food and $$ Needed

In a joint effort the Florence Food Share and the Florence Habitat for humanity is hoping that between now and February 10th they can raise 1000 pounds of food and $1000 dollars in donations for each organization respectively.  They are asking for the community’s help in meeting that goal.  Donations can be dropped off at either location.  Florence Habitat is located in the Grocery Outlet shopping Center and the Florence Food Share is located on Spruce behind the center.

New Business Grants For Rural Lane County

If you own a small business in the Florence area and have been affected by COVID-19 you may be eligible for addition grant funds that have been made available through Community Lending Works.  Applications are on a first come first served basis and can be found at  Small businesses with at least 6 employees can receive up to $2500.00.  There are also awards up to $10,000 for micro-enterprises that have 5 or fewer employees.