Reverse Parade Planned by City; COVID-19 Numbers Flatten; Dry Windy Conditions; Johnson & Johnson Vaccines Halted

Reverse Parade Planned by City

Despite the cancellation of the annual Rhododendron Festival the city of Florence has announced that it will be sponsoring the annual Rhododendron Grand Floral Parade.  However it will have a bit of a different twist.  Assistant City Manager Megan Messmer announced yesterday that the parade will be a stationary parade, or as the city has deemed it a “Reverse” parade.  Participants will create a float that may either follow the theme of “Rhody Wonderland,” which was the original theme of the festival before its cancellation in March.  Or they can come up with their own creative way to celebrate.  Messmer says the parade will only allow floats.  The parade is intended to keep the tradition of the Parade going while providing a COVID safe environment.  The parade will be on Sunday, May 16 and begin at 10:30.  It will begin at miller park and be stationed down Oak Street and then down 27th.  Floats will remain in place until 3:30 and the last car admitted will be at 3 pm.  Messmer also says that while this event has been created, it does not indicate an authorization for unapproved events.

COVID-19 Numbers Flatten

COVID-19 numbers for Lane County have seemed to flatten out, that according to Lane County Public Health spokesperson Jason Davis.  Davis says yesterday’s report of 40 new cases do show that numbers are hopefully going in the right direction.  While it is not a significant drop, it has brought the case per 100,000 down from 88.7 to 83.91 in the last 7 days.    To put it in perspective County numbers in mid-March were averaging 19.4 cases per 100.000.   There are 15 hospitalizations currently in Lane County and 242 people considered infectious.  There were no new cases for the Florence area yesterday and that number is still 195.

Dry Windy Conditions

Unseasonably dry conditions for April has caused the National weather Service to issue a special weather statement for the coast beginning today and lasting through at least the weekend.  Warm windy weather is expected to have a drying effect on vegetation across the area.  Extra caution is advised as it pertains to fires.  The National Weather Service is recommending checking with Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue before beginning a burn.

Johnson & Johnson Vaccines Halted

If you were one of the individuals that received an appointment to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccination, you have likely already received notification that your appointment has been cancelled or postponed.  Locally Rite Aid had doses of the shot, but due to 6 known cases of blood clots forming in shot recipients the state of Oregon has stopped the roll out until there is more information regarding the cause.  6.8 million doses of the vaccine have been administered and the 6 cases represents a very small number in perspective, but out of an abundance of caution the CDC is waiting for more data before allowing the doses to move forward.  Jason Davis says it is quite possible that the delay in this case may be a short one.  He also noted that the state has received small amounts of the vaccine and he does not expect it to affect their overall timeline in administering vaccines.  Davis also said that if you are someone that has already received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, Lane County and the Oregon Health Authority will be contacting you.  Symptoms that the blood clots may exist will likely show as a severe headache according to Davis.