High Wind Warning; Booster Approved For Younger Teens; More COVID-19 for Florence; Rhody Festival Theme Announced; Winter Music Festival

High Wind Warning

The Potential for extremely high winds exists for the Oregon Coast overnight tonight into mid day tomorrow.  The national Weather Service has issued a high wind warning in effect for much of the central and northern Oregon coast.  Florence is sitting at the southern most point of the warning.  The possibility for winds in the 30 to 40 mph range exists from 1 am Saturday morning until 1 pm Saturday afternoon.  Damaging winds could cause downed power lines and trees.  There could be scattered power outages.  Gusts of up to 65 mph are possible along the beaches with 45-55 mph gusts further inland.  Loose items, like holiday decorations should have extra tie down support.  High profile vehicles such as campers, rv’s and commercial trucks should be extra cautious.

Booster Approved For Younger Teens

COVID-19 booster shots are now approved for ages 16 and 17.  The FDA, CDC and the Western States Scientific Safet Review committee approved the Pfizer booster for those who have had their initial shots completed at least 6 months ago.  In the state of Oregon consent is not needed from parents or guardians in that age group.  More information on the approval can be found at Oregon.gov.

More COVID-19 for Florence

There were 5 more COVID-19 cases reported for the 97439 zip code yesterday by Lane County Public Health bringing the total to 825 cases and 38 new cases over the past two weeks.  It is not known if these represent cases in unvaccinated individuals or are part of a breakthrough case as LCPH does not break down individual zip codes, but the OHA is reporting that less than 2% of the breakthrough cases being discovered are among the 2.7 million fully vaccinated Oregonians.  Yesterday Lane County reported 61 new cases and the OHA reported a total of 901 new cases statewide.  Data being released on the new Omicron variant is showing early signs that it might be more infectious than the Delta Variant, but symptoms seem to be less with many reporting mild illness.  There has still not been a confirmed case of Omicron in Oregon, but Health officials say it is only a matter of time.

Rhody Festival Theme Announced (updated date)

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has announced its theme for the 2022 Rhododendron Festival.  “Back in Bloom” was submitted by Howard Cusack of Florence and will serve as the theme for the 116th annual festival May18-22nd of 2022.  President and CEO of the Chamber Bettina Hannigan says Cusack’s theme is a great way to signify the return of the festival after having to be cancelled twice due to the pandemic.

Winter Music Festival

The organizers of the Winter Music Festival have announced that this year’s 2 day festival will be live at the Florence Events Center and also Live Streamed.  The event beginning Friday evening includes Growling Old Men and the Appalachian Road Show and on Saturday will include Pretty Gritty, a second performance by Growling Old Men and Mary Flower.  The evening performances on Saturday will be Kristen Grainger and True North followed by headliner Grammy award winning singer songwriter Karla Bonoff.  Tickets and information on the artists can be found at wintermusicfestival.org.