COVID-19 Numbers and Vaccination Clinic; High Wind Watch; Redistricting Issues Arise; Flu Updates; OHA Offers Help for Closed Pharmacy Customers

COVID-19 Numbers and Vaccination Clinic

The list of all time cases of COVID-19 for the 97439 zip code increased by 3 in Lane County Public Health’s last report bringing the total number of cases to 731.  Cases continue to be on the decline in Lane County as the Delta variant is waning.  Public Health officials are touting vaccination efforts as the reason for the decline as the county and state begin the roll-out of vaccinations for the youth in the community.  5-11 year olds are now eligible for the pediatric version of the Pfizer vaccine.  All this week at the Florence Events Center there will be a vaccination clinic for ages 12 and up from 11am until 6 pm from today through Saturday. Consent forms will be required for ages 12-14 or a verbal consent from a guardian at the event.  those wishing to vaccinate their younger children will have the opportunity on November 20th at Siuslaw Middle School.

High Wind Watch

A high wind watch will be active for the coast beginning at 9 pm this evening and running through 6 am tomorrow morning.  Sustained winds between 28 and 38 miles per hour are possible with gusts as high as 55. Rain will accompany the winds.  A possibility for downed trees and power lines exists.

Redistricting Issues Arise

Oregon lawmakers have finished redistricting, but legal challenges abound for the maps they’ve drawn, both at the congressional and state level. At the congressional level, where Oregon added one seat for a total of six in the U-S House, Republicans accuse the approved plan of being “a clear, egregious partisan gerrymander.” Norman Turrill with the League of Women Voters of Oregon says the state’s redistricting rules have a set of criteria, such as using geographic barriers and not dividing communities of common interest. But he predicts it’ll be tough to overturn maps based on these.

“The criteria only say that they have to be considered, except for equal population, and the Supreme Court has previously said that it’s enough that they have considered all the criteria, not necessarily followed any particular criteria.”

 A panel of judges has until November 24th to make a final decision in the case. At the legislative level, Lane County residents have filed a lawsuit in the Oregon Supreme Court, with support from a Democratic legislator in the area. But Turrill believes that suit faces some of the same barriers to success as the congressional challenge.

Flu Updates

The Oregon Health Authority’s weekly report on Flu cases shows little movement from the previous week as a minimal amount of cases are reported.  There have been 11 cases overall and 9 of those were reported in Southern Oregon.  There were 3164 tests administered.

OHA Offers Help for Closed Pharmacy Customers

With the selling and subsequent closing of Bi-Mart pharmacies, the Oregon health authority is suggesting that individuals contact their health insurance provider for options and possible home delivery of medications, for those without insurance the OHA is offering 211 service by phone or for online information.  Bi-mart pharmacies officially closed last Wednesday.