Siuslaw River Boardwalk

Lane County Focuses On Rural Vaccinations; 7 New Cases Countywide; Travel Concerns For Spring; City to Give Amnesty for Late Fees; Grant Helps Building Owners

Lane County Focuses On Rural Vaccinations

Lane County Public Health continues to focus on rural areas for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Jason Davis with LCPH says this week 300 doses have been delivered to three outlets in Florence.  Fred Meyer, Bi-Mart and Peace Harbor will receive 100 doses each for use in their facilities and at their pharmacies.  He also confirmed that there was an additional mass vaccination clinic planned for Florence.  Davis also said that the county has received 2000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine of which 1100 were designated to Bi-Mart Stores and the other 900 were to be used at mobile vaccination clinics.  He says officials with Lane County Public Health are meeting early next week with the Oregon Health Authority to make a case for a doubling or even tripling of the county’s allocation.  Lane County would like to see upwards of 15 thousand doses per week by mid April out of the 80,000 doses that Johnson and Johnson will be delivering to the state.  He says if this happens the county may be able to work through all eligible categories more quickly.

7 New Cases Countywide

Lane County only reported 7 new cases of the coronavirus yesterday one of which was a new case for the Florence Area.  Florence’s total is now 175 cases.  Hospitalization numbers remain the same with 12 persons hospitalized.  The State of Oregon added 306 new cases as the overall week to week numbers continue their downward trend decreasing another 35% from the previous week.  Hospitalizations are also seeing a decrease from the previous week with a 15% drop although reported deaths did increase from 57 in the previous week to 86 this past week.

Travel Concerns For Spring

With the roll out of more vaccines and a decrease in overall COVID-19 numbers Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says more people are planning trips this spring.  According to Dodds the CDC is still recommending that Americans delay traveling warning that it might increase your chance of getting the virus, but if you are traveling AAA has set up an new interactive trip map with COVID-19 travel information for almost a dozen popular destinations.  Making the list locally is Lincoln City, but places like Maui, Cabo San Lucas, Seattle and Nevada are also on the list.  The list and information can be found at AAA.com/Covidmap.

City to Give Amnesty for Late Fees

The City of Florence is offering an amnesty program for businesses that have not yet paid their fee for a business license.  The city will forgive late fees on licenses that were not paid for 2021 and earlier if the license fee itself is paid by March 31, of 2021.  The City has also agreed to return all late fees paid to date.  The refund will be automatic and no additional action is needed by the business owner.

Grant Helps Building Owners

Business Oregon has been awarded 100 million dollars to help building owners that have leasers with outstanding balances.  Grants can go up to $100,000 per each business tenant lease but can not exceed $3,000,000 for each landlord.  The application process began this week and is intended to help small business tenants that have 100 or fewer employees.  Both the business owner and the landlord must participate in the application process, but the initial application has to be generated by the landlord.