Flu Cases Start Low; COVID-19 Reports; Author to Discuss Oregon’s Civil War Connection; ODOT Bridge Work; ODOT Sidewalk Work

Flu Cases Start Low

Oregon Flu Cases start off flat according to the latest numbers from the Oregon Health Authority.  Compared to last year’s early numbers positive cases are down .7.  during the month of October last year there were 2% of all emergency department cases that were flu related.  This is not necessarily an indication of a lighter flu season as early 2019 numbers prepandemic began at 1%.  Flu positive tests are at .4% of all individuals with symptoms.  There were 11 cases in all of Oregon last week and they were centered in Southern Oregon.  The OHA is reporting lower than normal vaccination rates for the seasonal flu.  There are approximately 100,000 fewer individuals vaccinated than this time last year.  Most of the country is still considered to be at a minimal level for the flu with the exception of the District of Columbia which is in a very high level of activity.

COVID-19 Reports

There were 5 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Friday’s Lane County report, but cases continue to be decreasing with only 17 cases reported in the last 2 weeks. Florence had been upward of 100 cases in a two week period  but has slowly been decreasing.  Number for all of Lane County have been on the decline.  87 cases were reported on Friday, however the University of Oregon is reporting a rise in cases among students and staff as school returns to in person learning.  Cases double from 28 in the first week to 57 last week.  For the state, numbers on Friday were steady with another 1,218 reported cases and there were 20 new deaths reported.  There are still 563 individuals in Oregon hospitals.  Vaccination rates continue to be strong with the state reporting more than 10,000 daily doses.  The OHA is reporting that the majority of vaccinations currently are the booster doses.

Author to Discuss Oregon’s Civil War Connection

History Buffs can learn about Oregon’s connection to the Civil War when Author Randol B. Fletcher discusses his book, Hidden History of Civil War in Oregon.  Fletcher’s book details the two union regimens raised by the state along with the migration of civil war veterans to the coast from both sides.  Fletcher will be on hand at the Oregon Coast Military Museum this Saturday at 1pm.  There is only attendance for 50 people. To reserve a seat go to oregoncoastmilitarymuseum.com

ODOT Bridge Work

The Oregon Department of Transportation has completed the second phase of its work on the Siuslaw River Bridge.  The concrete decking on the drawbridge has been replaced with metal grates.  ODOT anticipates work continuing through the end of the month.  Traffic delays were a regular occurrence over the past week as crews held up motorists for periods of up to 10 minutes in each direction.  South of the bridge traffic was backed up at times to South Jetty Road and north of the bridge to the 126 intersection.  However on Friday the situation worsened with motorists complaining of waits of up to 45 minutes.  Crews were on site again this morning installing new counter weights with periodic flagging as needed.

ODOT Sidewalk Work

ODOT is also working on several intersections throughout Florence preparing for an upgrade to intersections to new ADA guidelines.  The project is slated to be completed by February of 2022.  Highway 101 will be reduced to one lane of traffic in various spots as work continues, prepare for minimal delays and some congestion.