DEQ Helps To Identify Contaminant; Theft and Chase End in Arrests; Gas Prices; Risk Level Remains; County Average Daily COVID-19 Numbers Continue To Move Lower

DEQ Helps To Identify Contaminant

Large Plumes of foam were seen on the Siuslaw River at the Wastewater Treatment plant as officials try to determine what agent was dumped into the city’s sewer system.  The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has been onsite at the Florence Wastewater Treatment Plant helping to identify those possible contaminants.   The city issued a warning on Monday concerning shellfish harvested in the immediate vicinity.  Public Works Director Mike Miller says the posting at this point is precautionary.  Results from yesterday’s sampling will take time to process.  Miller says it appears that the unidentified chemical is creating false positives for bacteria. Until that determination can be made, the city asks the public to continue to act with caution for the health and safety of the community.

Theft and Chase End in Arrests

The Florence police department has released information on a robbery and chase that initiated in Florence on Sunday.  Police received information of a break-in to a vehicle in the 2700 block of Highway 101 and while responding they received additional information that a credit card stolen from the vehicle was being used at a local market.  Police received a description of the suspects and the vehicle involved.  A short time later Florence police spotted the vehicle just South of the Siuslaw River Bridge, when they attempted to stop the vehicle it fled and led police on a chase towards Reedsport.  The vehicle, a pick-up hauling a flat bed trailer reached speeds of up to 90 mph during the pursuit. FPD terminated their pursuit at milepost 220 and Reedsport police and Coos County Sheriffs deputies continued to track the vehicle..  The suspects eventually ditched the vehicle and fled on foot.  Coos County Sheriffs deputies and Oregon State Police eventually located the suspects after calls were received from the public on suspicious persons.  Arrested were 24 year old Bryce Adams and 27 year old Kendra Schratz both of Montana. They were returned to Florence and charged with Felony Eluding, Theft II along with 4 other charges and more charges are possible.

Gas Prices

Gas prices for Memorial Day travelers will be at their highest since 2019. Florence stations are averaging $3.24 per gallon for regular. That is 17 cents lower than the state average at $3.41, and 21 cents higher than the national average at $3.03.  Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says they expect 37 million Americans, including 485,000 Oregonians to travel for the holiday weekend, an increase of 60% compared to last year when much of the nation was under stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19.

Risk Level Remains

Lane County missed being moved to Lower Risk by 2% this week. Lane County Public Health liaison Jason Davis says over the last week the county made a big push to make the 65% requirement, but it fell short by 7,824.  Lane County did administer 22,130 doses last week. 13,377 were boosters and 4,091 were in the 12-15 age group. Davis called this fantastic news, reporting that 27 percent of the 12-15 age group were vaccinated in 10 days. Counties have the opportunity to apply for Lower Risk every other week. To do so, counties need to have vaccinated at least 65% of their adult residents and submit a comprehensive plan. Lane county has submitted its plan, which will be put on hold. The next opportunity to move to Lower Risk will happen June 1.

County Average Daily COVID-19 Numbers Continue To Move Lower

7 day average numbers for Lane County continue to move lower.  The average daily rate has dipped below 30 at 29.71 a rate lower than any time in the past 10 weeks.  Yesterday’s total case count was 25 and there were no new cases for the 97439 zip code.  There are, however, still 20 individuals hospitalized in Lane County with 6 individuals still in ICU.  The OHA is reporting 424 new cases with 4 new deaths.  One of the deaths is reported to be a 24 year old Lane County man who tested positive on May 18 and died the same day.  The medical examiner is trying to determine if the man had any preexisting conditions.