Siuslaw River Bridge

City Council Meets; New COVID-19 Cases for Florence; Governor Still Hopeful Goal Will Be Met; OHA Warns of Two-Pandemics; Golfing Success

City Council Meets

The City of Florence will consider approving several items this evening including a couple of proposals for construction, one for a $98,365 bid on a culvert replacement on 31st street just east of Munsel Lake road and a $583,996 proposal from Cascade Civil Corporation for the Safe Routes to School improvement project on Oak Street between 21st and 34th streets.  The City will also hold a public hearing on state revenue sharing before moving forward on a public hearing on the 2021-2023 biennial budget.  The 2 year budget will consistent of a $6.7 million beginning fund balance and adds in total current resources of $65.2 millions dollars.  the largest portion of the budget will be in capital outlay which include several projects already in progress in the city and will add items like new restroom facilities in Old Town, playground equipment upgrades and a focus in Gallagher Park and the Rhododendron Drive project that will realign and improve the section of the road from 35th street back towards Wildwinds street.  The City Council will meet virtually at 5:30.  Instructions on how to view the city meeting are at ci.florence.or.us.

New COVID-19 Cases for Florence

The 97439 zip code has added another 5 cases of COVID-19 to the list bringing the total number of cases to 252.  Lane County Public Health has not released information on whether or not those cases are part of a cluster, but cases are generally researched to determine if they are part of community spread or the result of a household contamination.  People are still encouraged to be vigilant in their safety practices as the county continues to see steady case numbers  in addition vaccination rates continue to rise slowly as the area anticipates reaching the 65% goal, possibly by this week.  The last report released by the state was on midnight Friday and maintenance over the weekend on the site has kept the latest numbers from being released.  Friday’s numbers were at 63.4%.  new case numbers were updated over the weekend with 81 new cases for the county and 1024 new cases for the state.  the state overall vaccination numbers are 3.8 percent away from the 70% goal.

Governor Still Hopeful Goal Will Be Met

Governor Kate Brown said in a press conference on Friday that we are only 127 thousand people away from “re-opening”the state. Brown’s office has said that most COVID-19 restrictions will lift once 70 percent of adults are vaccinated. According to Brown, “reopening” will include: no more capacity limits for businesses; masks will largely no longer be required by the state; and no more physical distancing.

“We will be able to return to Fourth of July BBQs, eating popcorn in a movie theater again, getting a beer after work at the local brewery… restaurants and bars will be able to welcome a full house”

Brown says she expects K-12 schools will return to full-time in-person instruction in the fall and that childcare settings will be able to meet the need of Oregon’s families. Because children are largely not eligible for vaccination yet some health and safety measures may need to stay in place in educational settings. But, Brown says, Oregon’s primary mode of instruction will be in the classroom five days a week in the fall.

OHA Warns of Two-Pandemics

Pat Allen, Director of the Oregon Health Authority warned, however, that Oregon is still seeing “two pandemics.” One amongst people who are vaccinated and another among those who have not been vaccinated. He says 98 percent of recent COVID cases were among unvaccinated populations. Among the 126 people who have died, more than 9 in 10 occurred among those who were not vaccinated.  Brown and her staff said that the vaccination push will not stop at 70 percent. At the state level, Brown says, focus will shift from pandemic response to pandemic recovery.  The governor’s projected goal is to reach the 70-percent vaccination level by June 21.

Golfing Success

Individuals showed their support for the Boys and Girls Club of Western Lane County on Saturday.  Their annual golf tournament saw 144 participants, the largest number it has seen.  Money raised through the tournament will go to fund summer programs and Board Member and interim director says the goal is to fund any student that needs financial assistance for the programs.