PeaceHealth/Peace Harbor to Join in National Vaccine Campaign; Ballots Mailed; COVID-19 Update; Vaccine Supply Increases; Restaurants Ready Themselves for Extreme Risk

PeaceHealth/Peace Harbor to Join in National Vaccine Campaign

PeaceHealth/Peace Harbor Hospital is joining a nationwide campaign to get the word out on the importance of getting a COVID-19 vaccine.  The push by the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic is entitled “Get the Vaccine to Save Lives.”  Amid the introduction of coronavirus vaccines there is a portion of the public that is still unsure, and yet another portion that says they will not get the vaccine.  The campaign hopes to change those minds.  According to recent polls 17% of American adults say they are taking a wait and see approach and about 20% say never.  There currently has been little negative reaction from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and a very small percentage of individuals experienced blood clotting from the Johnson and Johnson version and three individuals died, but health officials cannot categorically confirm that the deaths or the clotting was a direct result from the vaccine.  Health officials say that at least 75% of Americans need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

Ballots Mailed

Lane County special election ballots have been mailed out.  Individuals should begin seeing their ballots arrive in the next several days with most being to their destination by May 5th.  if you do not receive a ballot by May 5th you can contact Lane County Elections.  Drop off for ballots in Florence is at the Justice Center on 9th street.  Be aware that construction on 9th begins next week so there may be some delays.

COVID-19 Update

Lane County is reporting 57 new cases of the coronavirus and no new cases for the Florence area.  A recent outbreak in the area rose numbers higher over the weekend, but the effect of that outbreak seems to be contained.  Currently Lane County numbers are averaging 58 cases per day over the past week and 106.98 cases per 100,000.  There have been 408 cases in the past 7 days.  Hospitalizations have dropped by 4 and there are currently 18 individuals hospitalized with 5 in ICU and one on a ventilator.  Statewide there are 928 new or presumptive cases reported.

Vaccine Supply Increases

After experiencing a lack of supply of COVID-19 vaccines the county has been notified that it will be receiving triple the amount of doses from the state.  a recent letter sent to Governor Kate Brown from Lane County Commissioners decried the lack of doses received after the county was delivered less than their normal allotment of 10,000 weekly doses.  The state responded by allocating 30,000 doses as Lane County moves into the Extreme Risk Category today.

Restaurants Ready Themselves for Extreme Risk

Restaurants in Florence were busy last night as diners decided to have one last night out before the Extreme Risk levels went into effect.  Restaurants beginning today can only operate with outdoor dining and take out.  With new guidelines that allow up to 100 people to dine outdoors one restaurant has decided to maximize its outdoor space.  Fresh Harvest Café owner Gilmar Ortiz says their new 1500 sq ft patio will provide more dining outdoors than his indoor space can.  Ortiz says he hopes the weather can hold out and if it does he believes the new restrictions will not have too much of an impact on business.  Other restaurants are already maximizing their spaces and some have opted for the ability to serve people in parking spaces with barricades provided by the City of Florence.