Florence Oregon Covid-19 News

Variant Concerns Medical Community; Housing Issues Face Businesses; Health Care Job Fair Coming to Events Center

Variant Concerns Medical Community

Oregon vaccination rates are dropping steadily even as the news of the Delta Variant is taking hold across the country and in Oregon.  The Oregon Health Authority is reporting that daily doses of the vaccine have dropped to below 5600 per day.  Yesterday’s report from the OHA confirmed 273 new cases, but it has not been broken down to which variant.  Lane County reported 12 new cases.  There was also a new case reported for the Florence area bringing the total to 261 cases.  On Tuesday, Medical Director for Peace Harbor Hospital, Dr. Heather McArthur said the Delta Variant is here in the state and poses a more serious risk to health and potential death as it is a more virulent form of the virus and it is not just effecting the older community.

“We are seeing this virus hitting younger populations so it is definitely making people in the medical community, like myself, a lot more nervous.”

McArthur says it is important to get vaccinated.  She says even if you have contracted COVID-19 and recovered the shot will protect individuals.

“Even though you may have had it, we don’t know how sick you were we don’t know how well your body developed antibodies, the CDC is recommending that everyone get vaccinated.”

Peace Harbor is amount the facilities where you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.  They currently offer them on Wednesday’s for 18 and older population.

Housing Issues Face Businesses

Local Businesses are losing employees to the housing issue in Florence.  Rich Colton with Three Rivers Casino says they recently lost an IT person who after 2 months of searching could not find a place to live.  Three of Florence’s major employers have all said that housing is effecting their ability to hire.  In addition to Three Rivers Casino resort, Peace Harbor Hospital and the Siuslaw School District are having to scramble in order to get people in homes or apartments.  Jason Hawkins, Chief Administrative Officer with Peace Harbor says the situation continues to get worse rather than better over time.

“I’ve been here almost 4 years now it was a challenge when Deann and I moved here and certainly the challenge has grown exponentially in the last four years for us.”

The hospital system is unique in that it has what are called travelers that can post to a position for a temporary period until a full time replacement can be secured, but Hawkins says that even finding temporary spaces or mobile spaces for some has proved challenging.  Construction continues around the Florence area, but the demand for housing is outgrowing the pace of new spaces.

Health Care Job Fair Coming to Events Center

The Health Care community is joining together to try and solve a problem with the lack of qualified workers.  Chris Mason with New Friends Memory Care has initiated a health care Job Fair later this month.  Mason says aside from housing issues there are just not enough people to assist in the care of the aging population here in Florence and one way to combat that is to offer training for individuals

“Our goal is to help someone build a career path so if they come in and want to start off as a CNA and learn that skill set, now is an incredible time to be part of this industry.”

The Job Fair will be on July 28th from 11 am until 7 pm at the Florence Events Center and is free to attend.  Mason says they will also be offering vaccinations during the Job fair for individuals who have not yet had the chance to receive one.