COVID-19 weekly cases surge, hospitalizations, deaths increase
OHA’s COVID-19 Weekly Report released Wednesday showed a record- smashing total of daily cases, surging hospitalizations, a sharp rise in deaths and a staggering percent positivity. OHA reported 47,272 new cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, Jan 3, through Sunday, Jan. 9 – six times higher than two weeks ago and three times higher than the previous pandemic record for weekly cases. There were 486 new COVID-19-related hospitalizations, compared to 290 last week – a 68% increase. There were 113 reported COVID-19-related deaths, up from 89 last week. Reported test results jumped by 89% from 136,474 to 258,574. This represents a new pandemic high. The percentage of positive tests increased from 15.7% to 21%. Wednesday’s COVID-19 Weekly Outbreak Report shows 128 active COVID-19 outbreaks in senior living communities and congregate living settings, with three or more confirmed cases and one or more COVID-19-related deaths.
Oregon reports 9,796 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 25 new deaths
PORTLAND, Ore. — There are 25 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 5,870, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. OHA reported 9,796 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday, bringing the state total to 504,731.
Press conference highlights state efforts to address testing, hospital staffing and vaccinations
At Thursday’s press conference, OHA Director Patrick Allen provided an update on the state’s efforts to support hospitals and distribute 6 million test kits to Oregon communities and how mass vaccination sites are providing vaccinations and boosters. Kathleen George, Council Member for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, highlighted the outdoor drive-through clinic opening at Spirit Mountain Casino Jan. 15. Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Director Fariborz Pakseresht described ODHS’s ongoing efforts to support facilities and homes licensed by ODHS and in-home care providers. Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill gave an update on the impact of the Omicron surge on Oregon’s schools.
Vaccination Metrics Dashboard update
Last week, the Vaccination Metrics Dashboard was updated to include booster projections to determine when individuals become eligible for a booster based on the date they completed their primary series: either two months after their first dose of Johnson & Johnson or six months after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna. To stay consistent with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the dashboard was updated Thursday so that individuals will be eligible for a booster five months after their second dose of either Pfizer or Moderna, instead of six months. Additionally, booster projections for 12- to 17-year-olds will also be included on the dashboard. This increases the number of people who are eligible now to receive a booster.
More Oregonians receive COVID-19 booster doses
Oregon continues to move closer to meeting Gov. Kate Brown’s goal, announced Dec. 17, of getting 1 million more people in the state a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of January. when the challenge began, 949,749 people had received a booster dose. Since then, 338,154 Oregonians have received a booster. As of Thursday, Oregon needs 661,846 people to get a booster to reach the goal and make our state safer from the Omicron variant.
Consider alternatives for non-urgent health issues
With a record number of cases recorded and the spread of the Omicron variant statewide, Oregonians are being asked to ease the burden on health systems and emergency rooms. If you are looking for non-emergency COVID-19 treatment, please call your doctor or an urgent care clinic. Not sure who to call? Start with 211.
The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 777, which is 21 more than Wednesday. There are 144 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is two fewer than Wednesday. There are 36 available adult ICU beds out of 656 total (5% availability) and 233 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,127 (6% availability). The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day, nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.
Vaccinations in Oregon
Thursday, OHA reported that 21,825 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry Jan. 12. Of that total, 2,032 were initial doses, 1,269 were second doses and 8,574 were third doses and booster doses. The remaining 9,859 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry Jan. 12. The seven-day running average is now 16,057 doses per day. Oregon has now administered 3,913,885 doses of Pfizer Comirnaty, 187,454 doses of Pfizer pediatric, 2,580,064 doses of Moderna and 260,415 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of today, 3,084,711 people have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 2,796,576 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. These data are preliminary and subject to change. Updated vaccination data are provided on Oregon’s COVID-19 data dashboards and have been updated Thursday.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported Thursday are in the following counties: Baker (28), Benton (325), Clackamas (875), Clatsop (97), Columbia (97), Coos (130), Crook (73), Curry (22), Deschutes (671), Douglas (233), Gilliam (1), Grant (11), Harney (6), Hood River (27), Jackson (505), Jefferson (113), Josephine (125), Klamath (122), Lake (1), Lane (686), Lincoln (85), Linn (307), Malheur (46), Marion (862), Morrow (54), Multnomah (1,877), Polk (220), Sherman (1), Tillamook (39), Umatilla (267), Union (31), Wallowa (15), Wasco (79), Washington (1,512) and Yamhill (253).
A 3.2-magnitude earthquake was recorded off the South Oregon Coast Thursday, Jan. 13. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was located west of Port Orford near the outer fault line of the two that run parallel with the Oregon Coast.
Pothole Repairs Continued
The City of Coos Bay has contracted with Johnson Rock Products to perform pothole patching on several streets throughout the city. On Friday, January 14th, Johnson Rock Products will be performing pothole repairs on Date Avenue between N. 10th Street and N. 10th Court, Ingersoll Avenue at S. 11th Street, and Lincoln Road at Oakway Drive. Johnson Rock Products will work with local residents for access to and from their properties as necessary as there will be intermittent lane and road closures. Drivers and pedestrians are advised to please exercise caution within the construction zones and adhere to all construction signs. Should you have questions, please feel free to contact Public Works and Community Development at (541) 269-8918.
Trying to Regulate Homelessness in North Bend
City Administrator Report – The North Bend City Council reviewed results (https://bit.ly/3zSGyM5) from its comprehensive survey on homelessness during its Monday work session. The city surveyed North Benders in response to changes in Oregon Law that legalized camping on public property statewide unless local jurisdictions enact regulations that are objectively reasonable as to time, place, and manner regarding persons experiencing homelessness. The new legislation defines public property as “public lands, premises, and buildings, including but not limited to any building used in connection with the transaction of public business or any lands, premises, or buildings owned or leased by this state or any political subdivision therein.” Every Oregon city and county must update its ordinance language by July 1, 2023, to comply with the new state law and several court cases and opinions issued by the U.S. Department of Justice. Coos County and Coos Bay have already implemented their ordinances. North Bend developed a draft ordinance in coordination with Coos Bay that addressed “time” and “manner” but slowed the process on “place” until the community was aware of the new legislation and had a chance to provide feedback to the City Council. The overwhelming survey results (https://bit.ly/3fzS4Tz) are not surprising: NIMBY, an acronym for the phrase “not in my back yard.” A whopping 78 percent of respondents stated they wanted a designated camping site rather than in city parks or on public streets and sidewalks. Suppose the City of North Bend prohibited people from sleeping on public land altogether. In that case, the new legislation dictates it must first provide enough housing or emergency shelter beds for every person experiencing homelessness within its city limits. Since North Bend only encompasses 5.093 square miles, of which 3.92 sq. mi. is actual land, identifying a designated overnight camping site is no easy task. In response to citizen input, staff identified five possible solutions for Council consideration during Monday’s work session. All of the solutions required real thought by the governing body, and each has distinct pros and cons. Utilize the rear parking lot of the Community Center while pursuing a joint partnership to renovate and retrofit the facility for a long-term solution of continuum services. Designate an existing city park for overnight camping; Purchase land away from residential and most commercial areas that can accommodate overnight camping; Designate specific streets throughout the city that can accommodate overnight camping; Lease space in the airport’s 35-acre industrial park, which will be secure once its $2 Million tree-clearing and fence project is complete; Council directed staff to work with the City Attorney to update its draft camping and towing ordinances and put them forth at the January 24 work session for discussion and possible adoption at the January 25 Council Meeting. The Council consensus was a desire to lease or purchase land but utilize the Community Center parking lot in the short term at 2222 Broadway for overnight parking. The ordinance would take effect 30 days upon adoption. During those 30 days, staff would fence in the back lot of the North Bend Community Center, install gates and signage, implement a community communications strategy, secure portable toilets, and arrange for security to open and close the lot based on the schedule in the adopted ordinance.
Commission meets online Jan. 14 to consider funding of Conservation and Recreation Fund projects
SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Friday, Jan. 14 beginning at 8 a.m. online via Zoom. View an agenda of the meeting and watch a livestream of the meeting at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/22/01_Jan/index.asp To testify on one of the agenda items, register by Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 8 a.m. at https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN__rK6dt3DQDSx3zu1vDynkg Additional instructions on how to testify during the Zoom meeting are available on the last page of the meeting agenda. Comments about agenda items can also be emailed to email@example.com The meeting agenda items are: Amend description of the Heppner Regulated Hunt Area: Part of the property has changed ownership and the new owner does not wish to continue participation in the program so the boundaries for this hunt area will be adjusted (from 66 to 22 square miles). Approve Conservation and Recreation Fund projects: The Oregon Conservation and Recreation Advisory Committee is recommending funding for 23 projects that protect and enhance the species and habitats identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy and/or create new opportunities for wildlife watching, urban conservation, community science, and other wildlife-associated recreation. Commissioners will be asked to approve funding for these projects; funding comes from the state’s General Fund matched with donations from foundations and individuals. Approve Restoration and Enhancement (R and E) projects and appoint two board members: The R and E Board recommends the Commission approve funding for five projects recommended by the Board (including adding a floating pier for launching nonmotorized watercraft and for fishing at Lake of the Woods) and appoint a Sport Fishing and Commercial Salmon Representative to the board. Adopt schedule of damages for commercial fishing violations: Per ORS 506.720, the Commission shall establish the average market value of each species of food fish for the year which is used for the purpose of filing lawsuits for damages associated with unlawful taking of food fish. Appoint/reappoint two members to the Oregon Coordinating Council on Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia: A Fishing and Tribal Government Representative will be appointed to this Council which provides recommendations and guidance for the State of Oregon on how to respond to ocean acidification and hypoxia. Approve fish passage exemptions for ten artificial barriers on Jump Creek in the Silvies Basin: These exemption requests were part of a larger fish passage plan resulting from a Consent Agreement between Silvies Valley Ranch and the Oregon Department of State Lands. The Fish Passage Task Force delayed making a recommendation after first receiving a request in 2019, asking for additional information. Staff documented that there are currently no fish in Jump Creek and that current conditions prevent fish from accessing the area. The Fish Passage Task Force recommended the exemption be approved based on a finding of no appreciable benefit to native migratory fish if passage was provided at the ten structures which span approximately 2.8 miles on Jump Creek. Commissioners will also hold a public forum for people to comment on topics not on the agenda on Friday morning after the Director’s report. To participate in the public forum, call the ODFW Director’s office at (503) 947-6044 or email ODFW.Commission@odfw.oregon.gov by Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 8 a.m. (48 hours prior to the meeting).
Almost Didn’t Keep It!
ODFW release – BEND, Ore.—Alex Dietz of Bend was fly fishing with an egg pattern on the Deschutes River outside Warm Springs on Dec. 19, 2021 when he hooked a 5 pound 12 oz, 24-inch long mountain whitefish with a 14 inch girth. “My fishing buddy Jason Schreiber saw that I had a big fish on and came over to check out what was going on,” Dietz explained. “We took pictures of it and kind of laughed about it for awhile. I was getting ready to let the fish go when we realized this thing could be a state record.” Dietz is almost exclusively a catch and release angler—but he kept this fish, bringing it to Newport Avenue Market in Bend for an official weigh-in on an Oregon Dept of Agriculture scale as required under the record rules. ODFW certified the fish as the new state record mountain whitefish on Jan. 7, 2022 (beating the previous record, a 4 lb 14 oz mountain whitefish caught at Crane Prairie Reservoir in 1994 by Roger A Massey). The mountain whitefish might actually be a world record as the current record is a 5 lb 8 oz whitefish taken by Albert Woo in 1995 from Albert’s River near Calgary according to the International Game Fish Association. Dietz is submitting the information to the IFGA to be certified. Dietz grew up in Bend and has been fishing since he was in high school. He usually targets trout and steelhead and again, releases just about everything he catches. This record fish is being taxidermized for display at his home. Beating the record is extra special because Dec. 19 was the first time he’d been fishing since he and his wife Andrea welcomed their first child, a baby girl, on Nov. 15, 2021. “December 19 was the first time I got the green light from my wife to go fishing, so big thanks to her too,” Dietz said. Mountain whitefish are a native migratory fish in Oregon and are distributed throughout most the Western United States and Canada. These fish are typically found in cool mountain streams, but also occur in lakes. Mountain whitefish have a subterminal mouth which helps them feed on a variety of food items that occur on the bottom of streams such as immature mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies, which the Deschutes River has in abundance. “We have known for a long time that the lower Deschutes River has an abundance of mountain whitefish which anglers frequently catch while angling for trout,” said Jason Seals, ODFW Deschutes District Fish Biologist. “However, we never suspected that the Deschutes could have the state and possible world record mountain whitefish so this was a great surprise.”
OPRD Grant Program Now Accepting Applications
OPRD release – The Local Government Grant Program (LGGP) is accepting applications for the 2022 grant cycle. The LGGP helps local government agencies fund outdoor park and recreation areas and facilities, and acquire property for park purposes. Approximately $14 million in reimbursement grant funds are available for the 2022 cycle. Eligible applicants are cities, counties, metropolitan service districts, park and recreation districts and port districts. A webinar workshop is scheduled from 9-11 a.m. Feb. 15 to help new and returning applicants navigate the application process and learn about the program. Register for the live workshop at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YAu5zdqwR0ecTR8H-jsaGw. The workshop recording will be available to view after Feb. 15 at oprdgrants.org. Program grants are split into large, small and planning categories. Application deadlines vary for each grant type: Large grants deadline: April 1; Small grants deadline: May 1; Planning grants deadline: May 15. Access to the LGGP application is online at oprdgrants.org. The site also includes additional information about the LGGP, including the grant manual, application instructions and program schedule. The Lottery-funded grant program is administered by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). The program has awarded more than $70 million in reimbursement grant funds since 1999.
South Coast Striders Hike
>>>>Hall Lake/Dellenback Dunes/Yardangs – >>>> Make Your Healthy Activities Count! Reminder about Sunday’s hike, Jan. 16. It was a beautiful day on the dunes today. I’d like to reinforce the suggestion to bring a hiking stick or pole. They help when climbing up steep dunes. The route I laid out today avoids the steepest inclines, but it was still helpful to have my stick. Hall Lake/Dellenback Dunes/Winter Yardanging–Sunday, January 16, 2022. Sign up requested for the Hall Lake hike. Winter Weather and the wind make for some very cool looking sand sculptures geologist refer to as “Yardangs”. You can take a 3 mile moderate to difficult trip up onto the dunes between Hall Lake and the ocean at a slow pace to enjoy the sandy artwork. We are talking slow and steady – easy does it. Hiking sticks make this a much more enjoyable trip. This trip should last about 2-2.5 hours. or
If there is interest, and a leader, you can head on out toward the beach and return to Hall Lake for a 6 – 7 mile round trip. Rated difficult. The route may vary, depending on conditions. If you are willing to lead this longer hike, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Walking sticks and sturdy shoes will help make the walk more enjoyable for you. Dress for the weather, bring water, and pack a lunch if you plan on the longer hike. Both hikes leave from the Hall Lake Day use area at 10:00 on Sunday, January 16. It’s not too late to sign up for Coos County Odyssey 2022. While the event started on January 1, you can sign up today and you can record your activities from early this week. In fact, sign-ups will remain open throughout the challenge. Coos County Odyssey 2022 is a virtual fitness challenge that ‘virtually’ tracks you as your earned miles take you 216 miles through Coos County. Each time you complete an exercise activity such as walking, running, biking, swimming, yoga, dance, paddling, golf, and more, you will advance along the route map, starting on New Years Day at Sunset Bay, and ending at Coos Health & Wellness by the end of April. Proceeds benefit the Coos County Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) program. When you sign up, join the South Coast Striders team (or form your own team).
Commercial Burglary, Lane Co.
Deputies are seeking the public’s help in identifying a suspect involved in a commercial burglary that took place on Christmas Eve morning in the Cedar Flat area. An unknown suspect used a hammer to break into Mather’s Market on McKenzie Hwy. The suspect then stole a large volume of vaping products, valued at nearly $5,000. Surveillance images captured the suspect vehicle to be a blue 1990’s model Ford F-Series standard cab pickup. The suspect was depicted wearing a dark colored ski mask but appears to be a white male. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Lane County Sheriff’s Deputy Russ Olson at 541-682-4150 opt. 1.
Generally cloudy along the South Oregon Coast with highs in the mid 50s and winds out of the Northeast at 5-10 mph. A few passing clouds tonight with lows in the upper 30s and winds light and variable. Partly cloudy on Saturday with highs in the upper 50s.
North Bend’s basketball teams are scheduled to play at Crater in Central Point Friday. Girls varsity at 5:15 p.m., followed by the boys varsity game.
Marshfield’s basketball teams are scheduled to open District 4 league play at Cottage Grove Friday. The Pirate boys will play first at 5:45 p.m., followed by the girl’s varsity game about 7:15 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on FM 105.1, KMHS and streamed at www.kmhsonline.com
Marshfield’s wrestling team is scheduled to compete at the Oregon Classic, Friday and Saturday, Redmond HS.
Marshfield is scheduled to host a swim meet at the Mingus Park Pool, Friday, 3:30 p.m., Coos Bay.
Oregon beat UCLA 84-81 in a Pac-12 men’s basketball game at Los Angeles Thursday night. The Ducks (3-2, 10-6) are scheduled to play at USC on Saturday, 8 p.m., FS1. Oregon State lost 81-71 at USC Thursday. The Beavers (1-4, 3-12) are scheduled to play at UCLA Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks.
Oregon’s Pac-12 women’s basketball game with Arizona State Thursday was postponed. The Ducks are scheduled to host Arizona Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, Pac-12 Networks. Oregon State lost at home to Arizona 55-53 Thursday night at Gill Coliseum Corvallis. The Beavers (0-1, 7-4) game Saturday with Arizona State has been postponed.