Increase in Firefighter Presence for 4th; 4th Festivities; Final Monthly OHA Report; Cases and Percentages; Mask Controversy

Increase in Firefighter Presence for 4th

Florence residents will see more Firefighters in town this Fourth of July.  The number of injuries and fires caused by the improper use of fireworks generally rises over the holiday, according to Western Lane Fire and EMS Authority Chief, Michael Schick. Extra firefighters will be on duty patrolling the downtown area of Florence, the fireworks launch area at the Port of Siuslaw, and response areas outside the city. SVFR Fire Marshal Tony Miller will also be patrolling and deploying additional firefighters if needed. Though the increase in personnel is a regular occurrence during the fourth, Schick reminds residents that Western Lane County recently moved into High fire danger status due to higher temperatures and lower moisture amounts throughout Lane County

“Western Lane Fire and EMS authority is urging our citizens and visitors to be extra careful this year, even though some fireworks are legal in some areas doesn’t mean they are safe.  Warm and dry weather has increased our chance that a small fire can go rapidly to a large fire.  Let’s leave the fireworks to the professionals and enjoy the fireworks down at the port.”

Statewide, Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency due to imminent threat of wildfire this week. And Local responders want to remind residents and visitors that the use of private fireworks in Old Town, on beaches, in state parks and state and federal forest lands are prohibited.

4th Festivities

Fourth of July festivities will be going on all day on Sunday in Florence.  Beginning at 11 am there will be an Independence day bike parade beginning at 11 am followed by the annual pie and watermelon eating contest at noon.  From noon until 4 pm the Oregon Coast Military Museum will be hosting their annual celebration and barbecue.  Fireworks will be on the river near the port of Siuslaw and can be seen from the dock.  Fireworks will begin at 10 pm. Also tomorrow at 11:00 am there will be an All American Car Cruise beginning at the Florence Christian Church.  Participants are encouraged to decorate their vehicles, but no political or commercial messaging is permitted.  The cruise will terminate at Cross Road Assembly where there will be a short patriotic program.

Final Monthly OHA Report

The Oregon Health Authority has released its final monthly report on breakthrough coronavirus cases.  The report says that 92 percent of new cases in the month of June were from unvaccinated individuals and more than 90% of deaths were also from those who did not receive the vaccine.  1,790  cases did occur in vaccinated individuals and 10% of those were in congregate settings or long term care facilities.

Cases and Percentages

The OHA says that there are only 5,119 vaccinations needed in Oregon to reach the 70% mark.  There are currently 69.8% of individuals who have gotten their shot and there are expectations that that goal will be reached by the middle of next week.  There are a limited number of vaccination clinics available over the holiday weekend, but pharmacies will continue to be vaccinating individuals.  Yesterday’s report from the OHA says there were 196 new cases of COVID-19, 18 of them were in Lane County and no new cases for the Florence area.

Mask Controversy

Some on social media are blasting individual businesses that are still requiring individuals to wear masks, while the restrictions have been lifted statewide, the mask wearing mandate is still left up to individual business according to the OHA.