Recent Cases Predominantly Unvaccinated; Search and Rescue Numbers Rise; Free Fishing; Don’t Flush It

Recent Cases Predominantly Unvaccinated

The Oregon Health Authority is saying that more than 90 percent of new cases for the month of May came from unvaccinated individuals.  98 percent of the 16,097 new cases.  The OHA is hoping that the news will encourage more individuals to get the vaccine.  While new cases are falling and hospitalizations decline so are the number of people getting vaccinated.  The seven day running total for Oregon is averaging just over 20,000.  Percentages for Lane County are slowly moving toward the 65 percentile and is currently at 63.2%.  The county moves today to the moderate level of risk and entertainment and food venues can now serve indoors at 50% capacity.  Lane County added another 21 cases of COVID-19 to their totals yesterday while 2 of those cases were in the 97439 zip code.  The Florence area continues to have random weekly cases with one of the latest effecting Siuslaw Middle School.  Today the Florence events Center will be hosting a vaccination clinic from noon until 6 pm for individuals who need first dose or a booster dose.  The Clinic will be administering Pfizer doses along with a limited number of Johnson and Johnson.

Search and Rescue Numbers Rise

Oregon’s search and rescue community has seen a steady increase in missions since the COVID-19 pandemic began. As summer approaches and restrictions lift, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is urging the public to stay safe with advance planning and preparation. Matt House, Western Lane Ambulance District Operations Manager in Florence says “living on the coast we have a different environment with different problems that we have to navigate through.”

“We have the ocean that you never want to turn your back on because the sneaker waves can ultimately crash into [… ]people and take them out into the ocean and then that becomes a different rescue And we also have the rugged cliffside that if you’re not familiar with the tide then you can actually get stranded where we do have some rescues that are pertaining to that.”

According to the OEM there has been an upsurge in inexperienced people visiting more remote areas. As parks have become more crowded during the pandemic, more people are venturing into less populated and unfamiliar areas. The key, House says, is to make sure you adequately prepare for outdoor activities.

Free Fishing

Despite bracing for a serious drought this summer, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will sponsor a state-wide Free Fishing Weekend. Fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon without license or tags June 5th and 6th. Traditional sponsored events are on hold this year due to COVID restrictions, but you can

plan your own DIY free fishing day adventure or just find a fishing site with the help of ODFW. Locally, Cleawox Lake is stocked regularly with trout, crappie, perch and bass. ODFW hopes people will enjoy this weekend’s Free Fishing, but Shaun Clements, Deputy Administrator for Inland Fisheries says that record dry weather in March and April mean that many streams throughout the state are already at 25 percent of their typical flow, and asks that anglers be flexible with their fishing plans as the summer heats up. For additional information on the drought or suggestions on where to fish this weekend go to

Don’t Flush It

A recent issue with an unknown chemical in the wastewater treatment facility has prompted the City of Florence to remind residents that there are only 2 things that the sewer system is designed to handle: Human waste and toilet paper.  Fats, oils, and grease along with cleaners, car fluids and yard chemicals are not intended for the sewer and can cause problems when they reach the facility.  In addition the City release says that just because a purchased item says it is flushable, does not mean it is.  In the past public works director Mike Miller has said that they regularly find a strange collection of items in the system and even recovered a pair of jeans at one point.  Miller emphasizes there are only 3 acceptable things that should be flushed. “pee, poop and toilet paper.”