Missing the Curve?; Permanent Masking Rule for Schools; Reedsport Tree City; Wine and Chowder

Missing the Curve?

The numbers in Lane County for the COVID-19 virus according to Health officials continue to decline with fewer numbers in various sectors including the student and staff population at the university of Oregon.  However the Florence area has not yet seen the curve to lower rates.  The 97439 zip code continues to have daily numbers that average out to about 100 cases per week, which for a community of its size is a significant number.  19 more cases were added yesterday and for the second time in recent weeks Shorewood Senior Living has reported 9 more covid cases in their facility.  Another couple of cases at Siuslaw High School has also cancelled the next several boys basketball games.  Omicron is now the most likely culprit in the latest numbers and fortunately it is not as dangerous as the Delta Variant, but it is still known to require hospitalizations and sometimes causes death in the unvaccinated population.  LCPH liaison Jason Davis attributes some of the rises to COVID fatigue.

Permanent Masking Rule for Schools

The Oregon Health Authority has adopted permanent rules requiring masks in school settings. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the permanent rule replaces a temporary one that was set to expire on Jan. 28. Oregon health and education officials have required masks in schools as one mitigation strategy meant to limit the spread of COVID-19, so students can stay in school full time. Oregon education officials say any repeal of the making rules depend on the course of the coronavirus. Health officials said that COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, transmission data, vaccination rates, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all play a role in the mask requirement decision-making.

Reedsport Tree City

The City of Reedsport has rejoined the ranks of Tree City USA.  Reedsport had lost its status as a Tree City after a change in leadership, over time the city has worked to regain its place among cities like Florence who have achieved the honor.  There are currently about 69 cities across the state that are acknowledged as tree cities.  In order for a city to be recognized they must meet four requirements: establish a tree board or department, have a tree ordinance, establish a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per resident and have an annual observance of Arbor Day each year.

Wine and Chowder

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes back the Wine and Chowder Trail for the city of Florence.  The event is just over 2 weeks away, and Chamber President and CEO Bettina Hannigan expects a good turnout for the event.  The event takes place February 18th through the 20th and will include the popular glass float hunt.  Information about the event can be found at the chamber’s website: Florencechamber.com or by visiting the chamber’s visitor center on Highway 101.