Siuslaw River Bridge

COVID Number Likely Underreported; New Numbers; State of Emergency for Weather; Shelters to Open; Weather Checklist

COVID Number Likely Underreported

The rate of COVID-19 infections is indeterminate that according to Lane County Public Health Liaison Jason Davis.  Davis says that the numbers that are being recorded for the 97439  zip code  are likely incomplete due in part to the increase of home testing kits. Davis says one of the steps the home testers  are missing  is reporting their results.

“On one hand we love the pro social activity that people are willing to go down to the pharmacy, buy an at home test to know their status and hopefully protect others, but there’s acouple more steps that folks are missing that makes that home test useful for public health, like reporting, that’s a big one.”

Davis  believes  that individuals  are wearing  down  when it  comes to protecting themselves, but urges people to stay diligent. He says the last two years have been very educational in the fields of respiratory health and so much has been learned,  but  he also admits that there has been a  lot  of misinformation out there  too.   Davis also says that we will likely see a very large surge  in cases  beginning  in  mid-january  as a  result of the Omicron variant.

New Numbers

The new numbers for Florence COVID-19 is 872.   That is three more than Wednesday’s report.  The number of cases continue to grow both here and in the valley as health officials warn of the impending surge due to Omicron.   Lane County added 72 cases yesterday which is still relatively low in comparison to previous months but that number is expected to grow incrementally over the next several weeks.   One good note is that the Oregon Health Authority did report a decrease in hospitalizations and deaths for the previous week.    Health officials still warn people to be careful around groups and community gatherings this holiday weekend and in to the new year’s celebrations.

State of Emergency for Weather

Governor Brown has declared a state of emergency for the entire state in anticipation of the winter weather coming through.  Florence has a chance of snow in the forecast and areas from here through the valley are expecting snow and freezing temperatures.  Mapleton could see some significant snow and maybe some slight accumulation and along the coast flurries with no expected accumulation.  Road conditions between mapleton and Eugene could be dangerous and extreme caution should be taken.

Shelters to Open

The cold weather  will mean  the opening  of  the Florence Emergency Cold weather Shelter.   The shelters will open on Christmas day and will likely remain open through New Year’s eve night.   The shelters  will be open  at  5 pm  nightly  and transportation can be found  at  safeway,  the  Siuslaw  library, Linda’s Laundromat and fred Meyers. Between 5 and 6 pm.   Meals will be served at 6 pm and again at 8 am.

Weather Checklist

If you plan on traveling in the winter  weather  Marie Dodds  with AAA Oregon says make a safety check list and be prepared.   She recommends checking your vehicle’s battery,  tires have  studs  or you are equipped with chains or tire socks and familiarize yourself with how they go on, make sure you adjust your speed for driving conditions and  have  an emergency  kit  in  your car that includes first aid, water, snacks and blankets.   The one  thing  Dodds  did not include in her checklist is making sure your tank is full. Extensive periods stuck in winter traffic can leave you empty and in need of a tow.