Mask Mandate Rescinded
The State of Oregon has lifted its mandatory outdoor mask mandate. The discontinuing of masking will apply to large gatherings including sporting events like the OSAA State Championships this Saturday. Oregon recently reached the 70% for vaccinations and governor Brown had said that would be the indicator that certain restrictions could begin to ease. Patrick Allen, Oregon Health Authority Director, told media representatives in a zoom meeting yesterday the state has been successful in reducing the spread of COVID-19 as well as a reduction in hospitalizations. The OHA is still recommending a mask for individuals that remain unvaccinated, but it is now a matter of choice.
Bomb Threat Update
A bomb threat at Siuslaw Middle School on Monday has resulted in the suspension of a student. A message was written in one of the bathrooms at the school and Florence Police have investigated. The student may face more punishment after a threat assessment and a disciplinary hearing on the matter. School remained open yesterday as the threat was not deemed credible. There were no individuals or persons mentioned as potential targets, no specific nature of any possible device, no specific time or date and no demand or grievance was listed. Students were asked to not bring backpacks onto campus yesterday as a result of the incident. School Superintendent, Andy Grzeskowiak says due to the student being a minor there are restrictions in indentifying them to the public.
OPRD Free Day
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will once again encourage people to get outdoors on the busiest shopping day of the year. Instead of Black Friday, Oregonians are being encouraged to celebrate Green Friday after Thanksgiving and spend a good portion of the day outdoors. In order to encourage that Oregon State Parks will waive the typical $5 day-use fee charged at many locations. Oregon Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Sumption says the day will provide “everyone a place to escape pandemic and holiday stress.” There are 25 parks in Oregon that charge day-use fees, including two of the most popular, Honeyman State Park and Heceta Lighthouse Park. The fee waiver is a way to encourage people to spend time in state parks as an alternative to the busiest shopping day of the year. Annual day use passes go on sale during the month of December. Instead of the usual $30 fee, you can save $5. Annual passes are available at any State Park office or at many retailers.
No Relief From Gas Prices
Despite the release of millions of gallons of gas from the nations supply the price of gas will not ease over the holiday weekend according to Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon. The Oregon price for a gallon of regular gas remains at $3.78 a gallon as it does here at Florence stations. That will not discourage Oregonians from traveling. Estimates have climbed from 650,000 to 746,000 oregonians that are planning to be on the roads this weekend.
Covid 19 cases rose by 4 for the Florence area yesterday. Case numbers are at 781 overall since the beginning of the pandemic. Lane County reported 68 new cases and the state reported 869. The OHA also reported 51 new deaths associated with COVID-19 and a slight increase in hospitalizations with 4 new individuals admitted raising the total to 404 with 92 individuals in ICU.