The latest news stories of interest in the Rogue Valley and around the state of Oregon from the digital home of Southern Oregon, Wynne Broadcasting’s RogueValleyMagazine.com
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Rogue Valley Weather
Today– Sunny, with a high near 90. Calm wind becoming northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.
Thursday– Sunny, with a high near 93. Calm wind becoming north northwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.
Friday– Sunny, with a high near 93. Light and variable wind becoming north northwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.
Saturday– Sunny, with a high near 94.
Sunday– Sunny and hot, with a high near 99.
Oregon reports 314 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 7 new deaths
There are seven new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,737. The Oregon Health Authority reported 314 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 205,459.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (3), Benton (1), Clackamas (25), Clatsop (3), Columbia (7), Coos (2), Crook (4), Curry (3), Deschutes (6), Douglas (18), Harney (1), Hood River (3), Jackson (39), Jefferson (2), Josephine (4), Klamath (7), Lake (1), Lane (24), Lincoln (2), Linn (9), Malheur (4), Marion (32), Multnomah (34), Polk (13), Umatilla (14), Union (1), Wasco (1), Washington (40) and Yamhill (11).
CDC data tracker update resolved
OHA has relied on a daily U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) data update to report the number of people who need to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to reach Oregon’s goal of vaccinating 70% of people 18 and older.
This afternoon, the CDC reports it has resolved an issue with the data feed that contributes to its COVID data tracker dashboard, which Oregon uses to track the state’s progress towards 70%. All data submitted prior to the system going offline last night were processed and pushed live on CDC COVID Tracker today.
Vaccinations in Oregon
Today, OHA reported that 21,811 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 5,510 doses were administered on June 14 and 16,301 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on June 14.
The seven-day running average is now 16,162 doses per day.
Oregon has now administered 2,395,246 first and second doses of Pfizer,1,682,199 first and second doses of Moderna and 157,937 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
As of today, 2,329,871 people have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 2,054,069 have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series.
The number of adult Oregonians needing vaccinations to reach the 70% threshold is 65,484. A daily countdown can be found on the OHA vaccinations page.
As of today, half of all Oregonians who are 18 years and older have completed their vaccination series, according to CDC vaccination data.
Cumulative daily totals can take several days to finalize because providers have 72 hours to report doses administered and technical challenges have caused many providers to lag in their reporting. OHA has been providing technical support to vaccination sites to improve the timeliness of their data entry into the state’s ALERT Immunization Information System (IIS).
To date, 2,904,705 doses of Pfizer, 2,195,720 doses of Moderna and 299,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to sites across Oregon.
These data are preliminary and subject to change – OHA’s dashboards provide regularly updated vaccination data, and Oregon’s dashboard has been updated today.
The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 172, which is two fewer than yesterday. There are 46 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is unchanged from yesterday.
The total number of COVID-19 positive patient bed-days in the most recent seven days is 1,175, which is an 18.7% decrease from the previous seven days. The peak daily number of beds occupied by COVID-19 positive patients in the most recent seven days is 174.
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. More information about hospital capacity can be found here.
Oregon updates vaccine waste disclosure1,2,3
Oregon Health Authority recognizes that as we create more opportunities to vaccinate more people, we also increase the likelihood of leaving unused doses in a vial.
While OHA and the state’s vaccine providers continue to follow best practices to use every dose possible, we do not want that to be at the expense of missing an opportunity to vaccinate every eligible person when they are ready to get vaccinated.
Our vaccine waste table has been moved to the tableau dashboard. You can find that link to the weekly tab here. OHA reports updates on vaccines not being used each Tuesday in our daily media release.
|Vaccine Type||Doses Recalled||Wasted Spoiled Expired||Grand Total|
|Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine||4,152||4,152|
|Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine||19,669||19,669|
|Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine||6,302||6,302|
1Updated: 06/15/21 2Data source: ALERT Immunization Information System (IIS) 3Data is preliminary and subject to change.
Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations?
Gov. Brown announced only a few updates Tuesday to county risk levels under the state’s public health framework to reduce transmission and protect Oregonians from COVID-19. But she said the state has moved “incredibly close” to the 70% adult first-dose vaccination goal that will lift most restrictions statewide.
A complete list of counties and their associated risk levels is available here.
Jackson County has been approved to move down from High Risk to Moderate Risk.
Effective Friday, there will be 22 counties at the Lower Risk level, 5 at Moderate Risk, and 9 at the High Risk level.
“We are incredibly close to achieving a 70% statewide adult vaccination rate, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and lifting health and safety restrictions,” Brown said. “Vaccines are the best way for Oregonians to protect themselves, their families, and communities against COVID-19. Because so many Oregonians have stepped up to get vaccinated, Oregon’s case rates and hospitalizations have continued to decline.
“But, if you are not vaccinated, COVID-19 remains just as dangerous as before. If you have been waiting to get vaccinated, go get your shot today. It’s never been easier to get vaccinated, and you may just win $1 million through the Take Your Shot, Oregon campaign.” When Oregon achieves a first-dose 70% statewide vaccination rate for residents 18 or older, Oregon will lift all risk level health and safety restrictions. Some restrictions based on CDC guidance for use of masks and physical distancing may remain in place.
Dutch Bros Files for IPO
Dutch Bros, the drive-through chain of coffee stands based in Grants Pass, says it has filed for an initial public offering after years of rapid growth. It could be Oregon’s first major IPO since 2004.
Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, reported last month that the chain hoped a prospective stock offering would give it a $3 billion market value. That could make it the biggest IPO in Oregon history.
Founded in 1992, Dutch Bros now operates nearly 470 stores in 11 states, stretching from Seattle to San Antonio, where the franchise chain is in the process of opening its newest location. It employs about 13,000 altogether.
Dutch Bros reported in 2018 that it had sold an unspecified stake in the business to a private equity firm, TSG Consumer Products. At the time, Dutch Bros said it hoped to use “TSG’s expertise and resources” to grow to 800 locations in five years.
Grants Pass natives Travis and Dane Boersma founded the business together after growing up on a family dairy farm. Dane Boersma was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2005 and died in 2009.
The company filed for its IPO confidentially, meaning it has started the regulatory process of going public but isn’t ready to disclose financial results and other corporate information required of public companies.
Historic Cemeteries Commission Awards Grants To Multiple Projects Including Two Cemeteries In Jackson County
Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries (OCHC) has awarded $62,500 in grants to 15 historic cemetery projects throughout the state.
The funds will help support preservation efforts, repair work and visitor education. Individual award amounts ranged from $596-$9,452.
- Repair and reset four grave markers and research, design, and install an interpretive panel about the history of the people buried there, including a daughter of a woman who had been freed from slavery and arrived in Oregon in 1853 at Logtown Cemetery in Jackson County.
- Complete tree removal and trimming at the Missouri Flat Cemetery in Jackson County.
Other Funded Projects Include:
- Marker repair and leveling at the Bonanza Memorial Park Cemetery in Klamath County.
- Monument repair and cleaning at the Zion Memorial Cemetery in Canby.
- Marker repair at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Corvallis.
- Marker repair at the Dallas Cemetery in Polk County.
- Installation of security cameras at the Fernwood Pioneer and Fernwood Friends Cemeteries in Yamhill County.
- Clean and reset headstones at the Hubbard Cemetery.
- Marker repair at the Lafayette Masonic Cemetery.
- Complete tree removal and trimming at the Missouri Flat Cemetery in Jackson County.
- Create and install signs at 10 cemeteries in Columbia County.
- Repair markers at Riverside Cemetery in Albany.
- Trim trees at the Scappoose Fairview Cemetery.
- Clean markers and train volunteers at Tillamook and Bay City IOOF Cemeteries in Tillamook County.
- Complete a ground penetrating radar investigation at the Weston Cemetery in Umatilla County.
Historic cemeteries are documented by OCHC and must include the burial of at least one person who died 75 years before the current date.
The historic cemetery grant program is offered annually by the OCHC, part of the Oregon Heritage Program at Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). The grant program is supported by lottery and other funds.
OCHC maintains a list of all pioneer and historic cemeteries in the state. The seven-member appointed commission helps people and organizations document, preserve and promote designated historic cemeteries statewide.
For more information about the grant program or the OCHC, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at email@example.com“>Kuri.firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-986-0685. — https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/OH/pages/historic-cemeteries-program.aspx – Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
N. Phoenix Road Albertsons Celebrates Lucky Customer Today
A customer at the Albertsons store in southeast Medford won $1 million from the Safeway/Albertsons Monopoly game, which the store plans to celebrate on Wednesday. The local store director will be presenting a large check to the winner, plus cake and refreshments for the public on Wednesday starting at 2:15 p.m. The lucky customer will be arriving in a limousine, the company said.
Albertsons has been running the “Monopoly, Shop, Play, Win!” game from February through May for 13 years. Albertsons said in a brief statement that the customer won through a second chance drawing.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have a winner in the Phoenix, Medford community this year. People REALLY do win at Monopoly! We are so excited to be presenting this check to one of our loyal customers,” said Gineal Davidson, division president for Oregon and Southwest Washington Safeway and Albertsons.
We spoke to one of the amazing Albertson’s Checkers who has worked a long time at the N. Phoenix Road store, Teresa Shaw, who says the store has been getting ready for Wednesday the last few days, and everyone is excited that one of their customers won the prize: “I hope it is one of our regular customers. Someone local who really deserves it. I can’t wait to see who it is!”
AROUND the STATE of OREGON
Oregon Adds 6,900 Jobs in May
Oregon’s unemployment rate was 5.9% in May, the same as the revised rate in April. This was the first time Oregon’s rate was below 6% since March 2020 when the state’s rate was 3.6%. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.8% in May from 6.1% in April.
In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment grew by 6,900 in May, following monthly gains averaging 11,400 in the prior four months. Monthly gains in May were largest in private education (+3,400 jobs); professional and business services (+2,900); construction (+900); and financial activities (+900). Only one major industry shed more than 500 jobs in May: transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-800 jobs).
In May, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment totaled 1,864,000, a drop of 109,000 jobs, or 5.5% from the pre-recession peak in February 2020. Oregon’s employment dropped to a low of 1,687,500 by April 2020. Since then, Oregon has recovered 176,500 jobs, or 62% of the jobs lost between February and April 2020.
Leisure and hospitality accounts for the bulk of Oregon’s jobs not recovered since early 2020. It employed 169,600 in May, and added only 1,600 jobs in the most recent two months. The industry is still 46,700 jobs below its peak month of February 2020, so it accounts for 43% of overall nonfarm payroll jobs lost since Oregon’s pre-recession peak. The restaurants, bars, and hotels that make up accommodation and food services have shown flat hiring trends over the most recent three months; the employment level in this component industry has been close to 150,000 in March, April, and May.
Local government is another industry that has a long way to go to get back to normal. Employment averaged 207,400 in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 229,000 during the most recent pre-recession year of 2019. In May, local government employed 207,800. Local government education—including K-12 schools, community colleges, and public universities—accounts for over half of all local government employment.
A return to pre-pandemic employment is closer at hand for several major industries that were less impacted by the COVID recession. Although the following industries still haven’t surpassed their pre-recession peak, each is within 3% of attaining that milestone: trade, transportation, and utilities; financial activities; information; construction; and professional and business services.
Next Press Releases – The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the May county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, June 22, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for June on Tuesday, July 13.
To file a claim for unemployment benefits or get more information about unemployment programs, visit unemployment.oregon.gov.
Equal Opportunity program — auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services Oregon Employment Department.
Employers across the region are struggling to hire enough qualified employees to sustain their businesses.
Recent data from the Oregon Employment Department shows that underlying wage growth remains in-line with pre-covid trends. This is in addition to Oregon job openings having returned to pre-pandemic levels, indicating businesses are not responding to the pandemic recession as if there is a surplus of available workers.
What the current unemployment rate excludes is would-be workers who are out of the labor force. This means that people under this category neither have a job, nor are they looking for one.
An estimated 45,000 people in Oregon said they were prevented from looking for work due to Covid-related reasons during the first quarter of 2021.
Gov. Kate Brown Signed Bill That Permanently Allows Bars And Restaurants In Oregon To Serve Cocktails To-Go.
A temporary rule change that allowed Oregon bars and restaurants to sell cocktails to-go during the pandemic will
become permanent with a bill passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Kate Brown.
In December of 2020, the legislature approved a bill that temporarily allowed establishments with full on-premises sales licenses to sell cocktails and single servings of wine to-go, as bars throughout the state struggled under coronavirus restrictions that all but prevented their ability to do business.
The original bill had a sunset date — 60 days from the end of Governor Brown’s emergency declaration for COVID-19.
While it’s unclear how much of a boon cocktails to-go proved to be for Oregon bars, the temporary change was popular enough that trade groups supported making it permanent.
Deadly Virus Detected In Oregon Wild Rabbits
Oregon wildlife officials say that they have encountered the first confirmed cases of a deadly rabbit disease among populations in the wild, after discovering several dead jackrabbits near Christmas Valley in Lake County.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife underlined that rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2) poses no human health risk, but it can cause rapid death for rabbits and hares.
The virus can spread through direct contact between infected and susceptible rabbits, in addition to exposure to contaminated materials. Predators, insects, and people can also spread the virus through contact.
RHDV2 was first detected in Oregon in March of this year, but these case were among domestic rabbits within the greater Portland area.
ODFW warned rabbit hunters to take extra precautions, especially if they have any contact with pet or domestically raised rabbits.
“No Drone Zone” in Place for the U.S. Olympic Trials in Lane County
The FBI, working with local, state and federal partners, will enforce a “No Drone Zone” area in Eugene and Springfield during the upcoming U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field. The zone, which falls under a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR), will be established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and it will be in effect during the active event days (June 18 – 21 and June 24 – 27).
The TFR will run two nautical miles out from Hayward Field on all active event days and three nautical miles out (to include the Race Walk events in Springfield) on June 26th.
The FAA B4UFLY mobile app is one of many ways that drone operators can access information about controlled airspace, special use airspace, critical infrastructure, airports, national parks, military training routes and temporary flight restrictions. The B4UFLY app is available to download for free at the App Store for iOS and Google Play store for Android. More info on the app can be found here.
The FBI has the authority to seize drones that violate these TFRs, and drone operators may face civil penalties or criminal charges. If you are a drone operator, ensure you are aware of these restrictions and comply with them.
Congress gave the FBI the authority to counter, seize, and investigate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in 2018 with the passage of the Preventing Emerging Threats Act. The Department of Justice has designated Hayward Field and airspace around the facility as a protected venue, allowing for enforcement of “no drone zones” under this act.
In addition to the “no drone zone” operations, the FBI, Eugene Police, University of Oregon Police, and other local, state and federal partners have been coordinating in order to rapidly share any threat information to the U.S. Olympic Trials or any related activities. There is currently no known threat to any of the scheduled events.
All of the law enforcement partners remind everyone who lives, works, or is visiting the area that if they See Something, Say Something. Working together, we can help keep the events safe for the athletes and the wider community.
Anyone with information about potential threats targeting the U.S. Olympic Trials should contact the FBI at (800) CALL-FBI or at tips.fbi.gov, or call local authorities. — FBI – Oregon
‘Finders Keepers’ Glass Float Event Along Lincoln City Beaches
This year over 3,000 gorgeous glass floats are being hidden along seven miles of sandy beach in Lincoln City. These glass floats are made by local artisans, and if you find one, the treasure is yours to keep.
From the Siletz Bay to Roads End, float fairies will be hiding hand-crafted glass floats for beachcombers to find starting on June 14th, 2021. The floats will be above the high tide line but below the beach embankment. They’re being placed during daylight hours only and hidden throughout the day.
Glass float hunters should be aware of weather and ocean conditions, and be mindful of the environment.
There’s only one rule: One float per person per year. If you find more than one, be sure to leave it for the next lucky beachcomber.
When you find your float, you can call a number to register it and receive a certificate of authenticity from the artist who created it.