Siuslaw River Bridge

Local COVID-19 Numbers Surging; OHA/Lane County Change Florence Vaccination Clinic Hours; Junction City Resident to Seek Commissioner Seat; Longtime Community Leader Passes

Local COVID-19 Numbers Surging

There were 22 more COVID-19 cases identified in the 97439 zip code on Friday.  Lane County is reporting multilple daily cases for the Florence area and there have been 86 cases reported in the last two weeks.  The total continues to inch towards the 1,000 mark for the area.  There have been 967 cases known in the community to date.  Since late December the daily case rate for Lane County has skyrocketed.  There were 624 cases alone on Friday.  The average daily rate stands at 440 and the cases per 100,000 is now over 800.  Jason Davis said while they do not have all the data available, it is highly anticipated that the majority of new cases are the Omicron variant, a more infectious but less virulent strain.  The Oregon Health Authority has announced that the state has crushed previously daily numbers with 10,451 cases reported in a single day. New numbers for the weekend are expected out today.

OHA/Lane County Change Florence Vaccination Clinic Hours

The City of Florence has put out an updated vaccination schedule for the current Vaccination clinic that is ongoing at the Florence Events Center.  Assistant City Manager Megan Messmer release the information yesterday that the clinic will continue until January 22nd and will not be closed on the date of January 18th as originally planned. Beginning today the clinic will be open from 10 am until 5 pm daily, including weekends.  All doses are available including booster doses for each of the vaccines and pediatric doses as well.

Junction City Resident to Seek Commissioner Seat

Ryan Ceniga, a businessman and school board member is the first to announce that he will be looking for the seat on the county commissioners that is being vacated by Jay Bozievich.  Ceniga lives in Junction City and works for the Eugene water and Electric Board as a utility contractor.  He is currently formulating his platform but one of the things he feels strongly about it state regulation of mask mandates.

“I don’t believe in mask mandates, I’m not an anti-vaxxer, it just shouldn’t be mandated.”

Instead he says it should be left to the businesses themselves to regulate.

“if you would like to mandated masks in your office, in your store, then feel free to.  I think that stuff will sort itself out when consumers get to decide where to go.”

Ceniga says he was personally asked to seek the seat by outgoing commissioner Jay Bozievich.

Longtime Community Leader Passes

Another long time community member and business person has passed.  Johan Mehlum, chairman of Siuslaw Bank, acquired by Banner Bank and longtime Rotarian passed away on Saturday morning.  Mehlum was part of the Rotary club since 1964 and was club President  in 1967.  Mehlum was a generous donator to not only the Rotary Club, but was also a founding member of Western Lane Community foundation.  Mehlum had relocated to Eugene several years ago, but continued to support the Siuslaw region.  He had been the Chairman of the Mehlum Family Foundation that was founded in 2008.  Johan Mehlum was 93.