Positive Feedback From School Board Meeting; COVID-19 Still Prevalent; Air Quality Advisory; PeaceHealth Recognized; Antibody Therapy Available Locally

Positive Feedback From School Board Meeting

The overall consensus from the community and members of the Siuslaw School board was that the meeting last night at Hans Peterson Field was productive and positive.  About 50 community members showed up representing several issues.  There was support for the mask wearing mandate and those who would like to see the school year progress without it.  There were also some comments regarding Critical Race Theory.  The meeting also included written comments from individuals who could not attend the meeting and some comments submitted after the initial meeting had to be cancelled.  For those who were against the masking of the students they were reminded that the mandate is on a 30 day review and depending on COVID-19 rates changes could come.  One goal parents wanted to express was that they were going to be active and engaged with the school board with high expectations for the future.

COVID-19 Still Prevalent

While Lane County is reporting a slight decrease in cases of COVID-19 there are still cases being added to the Florence numbers on a daily basis.  There were 4 more cases added in yesterday’s count from Lane County Public Health raising the number of total cases since the start of the pandemic to 541.  There were 140 cases reported for the county yesterday.  Statewide there is still a significant number of cases with 2,352 reported.  The Oregon Health Authority reported another 47 deaths raising the death toll attributed to the coronavirus to  3,373.  Counties with largely unvaccinated populations continue to see high numbers of individuals contracting the virus but populated counties are still having the largest increases contributing to high numbers of community spread.  Hospitals are still inundated with patients with approximately 7% of its bed capacity available.  There are currently 343 individuals in intensive care units across the state.  vaccination rates continue to be steady averaging about 8600 doses daily.

Air Quality Advisory

The Air Quality Advisory is still in effect for today until 11pm.  Low forecasted winds will contribute to the overall impact of the smoke and haze from fires around the state, but the effects are not expected to be heavy for the coast, but some individuals may experience some breathing issues, itchy eyes or a runny nose.  Some mild drizzle in the forecast may help conditions overnight.

PeaceHealth Recognized

PeaceHealth hospital has been honored by the Portland business Journal as one of the top employers in the state for providing a healthy workplace.  The PBJ ranked Peace health as the #2 employer for the third year in a row.  PeaceHealth’s executive vice president Joline Treanor credits the caregivers and their unwavering commitment to wellness.  PeaceHealth employs more than 17,000 employees in Oregon, Washington and Alaska

Antibody Therapy Available Locally

The monoclonal antibody therapy that PeaceHealth introduced two weeks ago in its remodeled clinic in Eugene is now available in Florence.  The treatment requires a referral from a primary care physician.  Dr. Brenda Ormesher says they are seeing a great difference in patients that are receiving the treatment and wanted to make it available locally so that patients with mild to moderate symptoms would not have to travel into the valley.  it is done through an outpatient procedure.

“Before people get so sick that they have to go into the hospital we can help to try and treat this and prevent it from progressing.”

Dr. Ormesher says this is a treatment for the virus and not a substitute for the vaccine.  She says the vaccine is still the best way to defeat the virus.