Popular Campground to Reopen; Evacuation Plan for Rural Lane County; Cases Apparently Not from Outbreak; Numbers Continue to Be Low; LCC In-Class Instruction for Fall

Popular Campground to Reopen

The Carl G. Washburn Campground north of Florence has been closed to camping for over a year now due to a revenue shortfall and reduced staffing brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.  But Dennis Comfort, coastal regional manager for Oregon Parks and Recreation says that period is coming to an end.  Beginning March 22, visitors will be able to book spaces for all stays April 5th and beyond.  Prior to the shut down Washburn had not been part of the state’s reservation system and Comfort says this addition now brings consistency to agency processes.  Washburn has 55 spaces that are shaded with electrical and water hookups as well as two yurts and 7 secluded tent sites.  Reservations are on a first come first serve basis.

Evacuation Plan for Rural Lane County

Lane County in conjunction with the University of Oregon’s institute for policy research and engagement have identified 6 areas in the county that could benefit from specific emergency evacuation plans.  Two of the areas are in nearby Mapleton and Swisshome.  Lane County is offering a survey for these areas that will remain open until March 31.  This will help in understanding the needs and knowledge of area residents when it comes to emergency evacuation.  The survey can be found at lanecounty.org/evacplanning.  Mapleton and Swisshome are two areas that have limited road access and are at a danger for fire, flooding and even winter storms.

Cases Apparently Not from Outbreak

According to Jason Davis with Lane County Public Health the 4 recent COVID-19 cases from this past weekend were a grouping from a local rehab and elder care facility.  Davis identified Regency Florence as the location, but the facilities executive director, Kari Mascar says their most recent incident of COVID-19 was a month ago on February 19th.  Mascar says that they immediately went into quarantine protocol on that date and have been COVID-19 free since the end of the quarantine period.  Coast radio reached out to Lane County Public Health for clarification but has not yet received a response.

Numbers Continue to Be Low

Coronavirus numbers continue to be low for Lane County as only 16 cases were added to the list yesterday and none for the Florence area,  there was however one new death reported.  There has been  a slight increase in cases statewide this past week though with a 31% climb.  Deaths and hospitalizations were down though during the same period ending March 14.  The positivity rate is currently at 3.5 %.  Which was also slightly higher.

LCC In-Class Instruction for Fall

Lane Community College has announced that beginning in the fall the majority of classes will likely be on-campus instruction.  That includes the Florence campus.  Administrators say they will still be offering online classes as they did before the pandemic.

Stimulus Money

If you are wondering when your stimulus check will arrive, check your bank account.  The government payment has already begun hitting in Florence and if you e-filed your taxes and had a previous refund direct deposited there is a good chance that the money has already made it to your account.  Those who have not previously had an automatic refund will begin seeing checks arrive in the mail as soon as next week.