Levy Passes; High Wind Warning; Pediatric Vaccines Coming; COVID-19 Update

Levy Passes

With just under 6200 votes cast the levy that will fund Western Lane Ambulance for the next 5 years has passed.  3510 votes supported ballot measure 20-322 with 2687 opposing it.  While it was a victory for Western Lane Ambulance the levy did not receive the same amount of support that it did 5 years ago.  Operations chief for Western Lane Fire and EMS, Matt House says they will be working on proving their worth.

“We look forward to the next 5 years proving to the community that they do have the best system in the state and we’ll continue to prove it every day.”

The average household in the district sees about a $200.00 apportion on their annual tax bill for the levy an amount that supporters says is not too much to ensure the quality of care provided.  Mike Webb is a board member with Western Lane Ambulance and he says now the task remains of getting better and improving the current services.

“But we to truly thank the people of Florence and the greater western Lane County for their continued support and we intend to use the money wisely to provide the best services we can for the county.”

The message that there may be alternatives out there for consideration did make some inroads with approximately 45% of voters choosing to vote against the Levy.

High Wind Warning

The High Wind Watch for the coast has now become a High Wind Warning, increasing the possibility of damaging winds along most of the Oregon Coast.  The national weather service has issued the warning to begin at 11 pm this evening and is calling for steady winds of up to 40 miles per hour and gusts in the 60 mile per hour range.  The warning will be in effect until 1 oclock tomorrow afternoon.  Florence is on the southern end of the warning with it extending to Lincoln City.  If the storm were to push farther north the area could see less significant winds, but residents and businesses should be prepared for excessive wind.  High winds could cause widespread power outages and downed trees as well as blowing debris.

Pediatric Vaccines Coming

The Oregon Health Authority expects the CDC to support the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendation for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be administered to children 5-11 years old.  The committee voted yesterday 14-0 to move forward.  Once formally approved an estimated 300,000 children in Oregon will be eligible to receive the vaccine.  OHA administrators say they should see doses of the vaccine within the week here in Oregon.  The OHA has set up a form for parents that have question about the vaccine for children.  Here is the link to that form: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/f5aa05d94ea04105ad0058a0618eacea?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

COVID-19 Update

There were no new cases of COVID-19 for the Florence area reported yesterday and the overall number remains at 724.  Lane County reported 55 new cases and there were 1,123 cases reported statewide.  There has been an increase in vaccinations with the number doubling from the previous week with a new 7 day average running close to 17,000 per day with the larger percentage of those doses being booster doses.