Siuslaw Bridge and Sealion

Local Cases; COVID-19 Update; Whale Watching for Spring Break

Local Cases

A day before the mask mandate lifts Lane County Public health is reporting a significant drop in cases.  The seven day average has dropped to 46 cases with 46 new cases reported yesterday.  The case per 100,000 dropped to 68.2.  for the Florence area the two week running average is down to 35 although there were 5 new cases reported yesterday.  Health officials say that even though mandated mask wearing will be eliminated tomorrow, it does not mean that wearing masks will no longer be necessary.  The Oregon Health Authority still recommends mask wearing for people that are symptomatic and those that are in a high risk category.

COVID-19 Update

The Oregon Health Authority is reporting a 28% decline in new cases through March 6th.  which constitutes a 98% drop from the peak level Oregon experienced the week of January 23.  Hospitalizations have also declined.  There are currently 270 individuals in Oregon hospitals with COVID-19, 46 of those are in Lane County Hospitals.  The OHA reported 470 new cases yesterday and 29 new deaths associated with COVID-19.

Whale Watching for Spring Break

It’s a special time of year on the Oregon Coast when spring breakers can connect with a north bound migration.  Bob Sneddon has the story.

“Just in time for spring break, the annual gray whale migration off the Oregon Coast is just beginning.  Oregon State Parks Ranger Luke Parsons says the best place to begin your search is at any high location with a good view of the ocean.

“Just kind of scanning the horizon with your eyes and the first thing you’re going to see is that spout.” 

Once you see the spout he suggests raising your binoculars to possibly get a better look.  But, he adds, you may not need them.

“Thankfully during the spring, sometimes these whales are just a few hundred feet from the shore, and so they can be pretty easy to see.” 

The whales have been wintering in warm water off Mexico and are on their way north where they’ll spend the summer feeding returning in the fall.  I’m Bob Sneddon with Coast Radio News.”

This year the Whale Watch center at Depoe Bay will be closed, but Oregon Parks and Recreation will be bringing back the whale watch Livestream on their youtube channel.  The Center is planning on reopening in late spring.