Flu Rates Increase; COVID-19 Updates; Rhody Run Seeks Volunteers; Gas Prices Dip Slightly

Flu Rates Increase

While COVID-19 cases continue to decrease health officials say a result of the reduced mandates could be a direct correlation to the rising Flu rates in the state.  it is a slight increase of .6% but the overall positivity rate of cases now stands at 3.1 percent which is more than a 2 % increase from earlier in the season when mask wearing was more prevalent.  There were 110 cases throughout the state with areas like the Columbia gorge having a 10.9% rate of positivity followed by southern Oregon with an 8.1% rate.  The Portland Metro area has the lowest rate of .7%.  Health officials are recommending that people get a flu vaccine and that it is not too late to curb the virus.

COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 reporting has been falling off in recent weeks as the focus turns from regulating individuals to personal responsibility.  There are fewer and fewer cases reported even as the US is suggesting that there may be a new dominant variant spreading.  The BA2 variant was first noticed in January and is more widely seen in the northern states and in the west.  It is believed that vaccines are effective against this variant of the Coronavirus.

There are fewer beds being taken up by COVID patients with the number dropping to 179, 13 fewer than the previous day’s numbers.  This as the Oregon Health Authority is reporting 269 new cases.  Lane County Cases are 42 with no new cases reported for the Florence Area (1505)

Rhody Run Seeks Volunteers

The annual Rhody Run 5 and 10 K continues its tradition this year and as the date draws near Volunteers are being solicited for the event.  Race organizer Janell Morgan with Florence Habitat for Humanity says they have a wide variety of race day jobs available.

“We sure do, we still need volunteers to help, we’ll need people to help along the run to help with handing out water, and just a lot of volunteers.”

Those jobs include course marshals to make sure everyone stays on track, along with pre and post-race helpers.  Registration and information for the race is online at Florence habitat dot org… the race is at 9 AM, Saturday May 21st.  The Rhody Run is a sanctioned USA Track and Field Event.

Gas Prices Dip Slightly

It may not seem like it, but gas prices are going down, at least from the previous week.  Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says prices decreased by 3 cents per gallon in Oregon, but drivers are still paying some of the highest prices in years with an Oregon Average at $4.71 a gallon.  Florence average Price: $4.69