School Changes From ODE
After Spring break this week Siuslaw Students will be back in the class rooms with two weeks left in the quarter and new guidelines for relaxing distancing requirements will be in place. According to Siuslaw Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak, that will not mean an instant doubling in classroom size. The changes will amount to about a 25% increase in occupancy. Considerations have to be made for materials within the classroom like shelves, cabinets and other furniture and fixtures.. Masking and face covering and PPE requirements will remain in place. Any other changes will occur later in the month of April after the school district has time to notify all students and families as to the changes. Grzeskowiak also says they want to insure that the updates are properly interpreted before going into effect.
PPP Money Still Available
The federal government still has about 128 billion dollars up for grabs for businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The filing deadline for the Payroll Protection Program will expire on the 31st of March and there is currently no plans to revise it. Some of the new money allocated will go to larger non-profit organizations, but there is still money available for small businesses. Businesses interested in the forgivable loan program are asked to contact their local bank for information on the process.
No New COVID-19 Cases For Florence
There are no new cases of COVID-19 for the Florence area and the Lane County one day total is 16. There were only 178 new cases statewide as the OHA reports numbers are dropping quickly. There has been a 17% decrease from the previous week. Thirteen counties have been approved to increase their vaccination schedules to include 45-64 year old adults with one or more underlying health conditions, migrant and seasonal farm workers, seafood and agriculture workers and food process workers. It also includes allowances for those who are pregnant that are 16 years of age or older. Lane County is not currently included in the expansion.
One Shot Vaccine Being Distributed
The Oregon Health Authority is reporting that the state has already received over 54 thousand doses of the single shot, Johnson & Johnson vaccine. They are currently being distributed to sites across the state.