Power Issue Causes Casino Closure;County Confirms Case Origins; Numbers on the Rise; Governor Pushes For Broadband Access

Power Issue Causes Casino Closure

Three Rivers Casino had to close its doors to gaming and dining yesterday after overnight maintenance on some electrical systems failed to come back on line.  Cars were turned away at the entrances during the day.  TRC’s Rich Colton said they expected to be back open by 9 am yesterday, but were unable to fix the problem in time.  As of 6:30 last evening they were still closed.  The casino currently closes overnight from 3am until 7am for cleaning and maintenance due to the pandemic.  Colton says the Hotel is still open but restaurants and the gaming floor are closed.  Colton also said that they will have more information today on whether the casino will be able to reopen today.

County Confirms Case Origins

Jason Davis with Lane County Public Health says three of the most recent cases of COVID-19 in Florence were the result of a religious gathering.  The other 13 were a result of household spread.  216 cases have now been reported from the Florence area and health officials are concerned, not only with the rising numbers here, but with 76 new cases reported county wide yesterday, there does not seem to be a slowdown in cases.  The county tally is now at 11,811 cases and tomorrow Lane will move to the High Risk category.  With High Risk indoor capacity for eating and drinking establishments cannot exceed 25% of capacity or 50 people whichever is smaller and a limit of 6 people per table and not more than two households.  The same restrictions go for indoor entertainment.

Numbers on the Rise

The state number for COVID-19 reached almost 1000 yesterday with 989 new cases and 6 new deaths to report.  The states weekly report from the Oregon Health Authority shows that increases have been steady over the past week.  There was a 27% in new cases last week which is the fourth week with increases of more than 20%.   In Mid March the state was reporting numbers below 200.   Positive test percentages are also up to 5.3%.  even more significant is the number of hospitalizations.  The state has reported 15 more cases of individuals that had to be hospitalized in the past week.

Governor Pushes For Broadband Access

Governor Kate Brown appeared before a joint subcommittee for Transportation and Economic Development yesterday to urge for support of her plan to increase broadband for under-served communities.  The 118 million dollar proposal would go to communities that have limited access to internet.  Local company HYAK has already received funds to help expand in areas like Mapleton and Sweethome.  Governor Brown’s plan would help to open up educational opportunities for digital learning.  She says that the pandemic has demonstrated that every child must have access to broadband connections for learning regardless of income level or zip code.