High Wind Watch; COVID-19 Update; To Mask or Not to Mask?; Gas Prices; City Collaborates on Testing

High Wind Watch

A strong front moving across the Pacific is expected to impact the Florence area over the weekend.  The National Weather Service is predicting high winds that could produce winds over 60 miles per hour with steady winds between 30 and 40 miles per hour.  The high wind watch is scheduled to hit the beaches and headlands tomorrow afternoon and last through the evening.  Winds could blow down power lines and trees and cause debris across roads and yards.  Widespread power outages are possible.

COVID-19 Update

There were no new cases of COVID-19 reported for the Florence area in Lane County’s report yesterday.  The report also includes a low of 42 cases.  The number of cases per 100,000 continues to decline with a daily totals yesterday of 59.8.  the Oregon Health Authority is reporting 433 new cases statewide and added 54 deaths to the list.  Hospitalizations increased by one yesterday to 271.  This past week there were also 776 breakthrough cases in individuals that are considered fully vaccinated.

To Mask or Not to Mask?

Will you wear a mask?  Mask mandates will be lifted at midnight tonight for indoor settings and most Oregon Schools.  The Oregon Health Authority has set up a survey to see what percentage of Oregonians will continue to wear a mask.  The link can be accessed at Oregon.gov.  The survey covers several areas including wearing a mask at the gym, during religious services, grocery shopping and more.  The OHA still favors mask wearing in certain circumstances and for vulnerable individuals with weakened immune systems.

Gas Prices

Gas prices continue to rise with local prices averaging $4.60 a gallon for regular.  Crude oil prices closed at $107.00 a barrel yesterday.  Prices have increased by $1.30 in the last 4 weeks and are likely to continue upward as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues.  With spring break just over a week away for Oregonians there are concerns that individuals may stay close to home to avoid the cost even as more places open up with reducing numbers of COVID-19 cases.

City Collaborates on Testing

The City of Florence is collaborating with a study that samples waste water for COVID-19.  The city’s wastewater treatment plant is one of 30 sites that is contributing.  The study is being conducted by the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon State University.  The wastewater analysis measures levels of non-infectious Ribonucleic Acid (RNA).  It is a way of determining the effects of the virus as testing continues to decrease.