New IV Therapy Available
PeaceHealth has announced that it will begin offering a new therapy this week for individuals that are at risk for severe complications from COVID-19. The initial rollout of the monoclonal antibody IV therapy will start at PeaceHealth Medical Group Valley River Urgent Care in Eugene. PeaceHealth Media Relations liaison Anne Williams in a press release said the Urgent Care which had been closed recently will open only for the new therapy. There are certain conditions that individuals must meet in order to participate. The therapy will be provided for ages 12 and up with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms or those who have known to have been in contact with COVID-19 and are at a high risk of developing serious complications. Dr. Brenda Ormesher, infectious disease specialist at PeaceHealth Riverbend says the therapy is not a cure, and does not provide long term immunity. She says it has been shown to be able to reduce hospitalizations up to 70% for high risk patients. Monoclonal antibody treatment may be appropriate for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms or those with known contact to COVID-19 and a high risk of developing serious complications. It may be given to anyone age 12 or over who also meets at least one of the following criteria:
- 65 years of age or older
- Cardiovascular disease, including congenital heart disease, or hypertension
- Chronic lung disease, including COPD, moderate to severe asthma, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension
- BMI above 25 or, if age 12-17, a BMI greater than 85th percentile for age and gender based on CDC growth charts
- Chronic kidney disease
- Sickle cell disease
- Receiving immunosuppressive treatment or have an immunosuppressive disease
- Neurodevelopmental disorders, such as cerebral palsy, or other conditions that confer medical complexity (for example, genetic or metabolic syndromes and severe congenital abnormalities)
- Medical-related technological dependence, such as tracheostomy, gastrostomy or positive pressure ventilation
Staff…Not Food Shortages
Local eateries that have been hit with supply shortages due to staffing and shipping issues are finding a partner with the City of Florence. Initially when the information hit about restaurants having to shut down for several days in the week in order to have enough food some took to social media declaring a food shortage. According to information received from a representative of a distributor, the issue was not a lack of food, but a lack of adequate staffing in warehouses and in shipping. Assistant City Manager Megan Messmer
“So lack of truck drivers, lack of people to unload and load at distribution centers not necessarily a food item shortage.”
The City of Florence according to Messmer has been assisting by working to find other distribution options for local restaurants to supplement their main sources of food and supplies. The City has connected with Eugene’s Table and Pollinate Food that are willing to mobilize to help Florence businesses. Messmer said this is not just a Florence issue, but many businesses across the county, state and even the U.S. have been affected by lack of available employees.
Latest COVID-19 Update
The number of known cases of COVID-19 in the Florence area has grown to 87 over the past two weeks. There are now a total of 443 cases that have been diagnosed since the beginning of the pandemic. The Oregon Health Authority has reported 183 new cases in Lane County and 7 other counties are reporting triple digit numbers, and there were 2,777 new cases statewide. Instances of increased vaccination rates has been seen and the average 7 day rate is 7,777 doses per day. Hospitalization rates are not falling but increased by 80 yesterday. Hospitals across the state are trying to find staff and resources to deal with the enormity of the current situation. Health officials are hoping that there will be a peak of admissions by the end of the first full week of September. Hospitals have seen 7 straight weeks of increases in hospitalizations. COVID-19 cases in general have increased another 16% over the previous week according to the OHA.
Rods and Rhodys
Despite the mask mandate that is set to go into effect on Friday the Rods and Rhody’s event scheduled for September 11th will happen. The event is an outdoor event and this year and will spread across Bay Street from the Siuslaw river Bridge to the Port Parking Area. The Florence City Council approved the Street closure at its Monday evening meeting allowing for the event to move forward. The event will feature a Friday evening car cruise and a poker walk with raffles and prizes and the vehicles will be exhibited for the general public on Saturday from 9 until 4.