The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com
Thursday, May 6, 2021
Oregon Beach Weather
Today- Rain likely. Cloudy, with a high near 57. Breezy, with a west southwest wind 15 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Friday- A 40 percent chance of showers, mainly before 11am. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 56. North northwest wind 5 to 13 mph.
Saturday- Mostly sunny, with a high near 59. Calm wind becoming north northwest 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon.
Sunday- A 20 percent chance of showers before 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 59.
Monday- Sunny, with a high near 61. Breezy.
Oregon reports 808 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 1 new death
There is one new COVID-19 related death in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,509. The Oregon Health Authority reported 808 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 188,417.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (4), Benton (17), Clackamas (119), Clatsop (2), Columbia (6), Crook (16), Curry (1), Deschutes (81), Douglas (12), Grant (2), Hood River (5), Jackson (40), Jefferson (3), Josephine (18), KIamath (37), Lake (3), Lane (43), Lincoln (1), Linn (36), Malheur (7), Marion (59), Morrow (2), Multnomah (164), Polk (15), Tillamook (2), Umatilla (8), Union (1), Wallowa (2), Wasco (1), Washington (84) and Yamhill (17).
Oregon’s 2,509th COVID-19 death is a 41-year-old man from Lane County who tested positive on Nov. 18, 2020 and died on Jan. 1, 2021 at his residence. He had underlying conditions.
Vaccinations in Oregon
Today, OHA reported that 30,994 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 21,621 doses were administered on May 4 and 9,373 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on May 4.
The 7-day running average is now 31,644 doses per day.
Oregon has now administered a total of 1,687,447 first and second doses of Pfizer, 1,334,561 first and second doses of Moderna and 99,793 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of today, 1,331,526 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 1,885,466 who have had at least one dose.
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, 2,062,125 doses of Pfizer, 1,680,800 doses of Moderna and 241,900 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 330, which is 15 fewer than yesterday. There are 83 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is four more than yesterday.
The total number of COVID-19 positive patient bed-days in the most recent seven days is 2,371, which is a 12.1% increase from the previous seven days. The peak daily number of beds occupied by COVID-19 positive patients in the most recent seven days is 351.
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 is indefinitely extending a workplace rule adopted last fall that requires employers to adhere to specific safety measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Under the rule, employers must ensure that their employees wear masks and maintain physical distance in the workplace, among other requirements.
The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Oregon OSHA) said the rule will remain in effect until it is no longer needed to address the potential spread of COVID-
19 in the workplace.
Weekly COVID-19 cases, deaths, hospitalizations decline
The Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 Weekly Report, released today, shows decreases in daily cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the previous week.
OHA reported 5,557 new daily cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, April 26 through Sunday, May 2. That represents a 3% decrease from the previous week.
New COVID-19 related hospitalizations fell to 272, down from 333 last week.
Reported COVID-19 related deaths fell to 16, down from 26 last week.
There were 110,134 tests for COVID-19 for the week of April 25 through May 1 — an 18% decrease from last week. The percentage of positive tests rose from 6.0% to 6.8%.
People 70 years of age and older have accounted for 39% of COVID-19 related hospitalizations and 76% of COVID-19 related deaths.
Today’s COVID-19 Weekly Outbreak Report shows 42 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.
Netarts Bay WEBS Virtual Program ‘Sharks of the Oregon Coast’ TONIGHT May 6th 6pm
The waters off the Oregon Coast are home to at least 17 species of sharks. But not all sharks are created equally; these creatures come in all sizes, shapes, colors and notoriety. From salmon sharks to basking sharks, soupfin sharks and yes, even great white sharks, these predators play a crucial role in helping to maintain a delicately-balanced ecosystem. In other words: sharks help keep the oceans and everything living in them healthy. And while sharks typically get a bad rap, most of Oregon’s sharks are actually quite harmless and non-threatening.
Join the Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS on May 6th at 6pm for their latest virtual program: ‘Sharks of the Oregon Coast.’ WEBS is hosting Taylor Chapple, an Assistant Professor at Oregon State University working to increase our understanding and appreciation of sharks off the Oregon coast and around the world.
Taylor’s background is in population modeling of highly mobile species, notably the white shark. He is focused on shifting the current mantra from fear and apprehension of sharks to one of awe and inspiration. Taylor has worked all over the planet engaging people, through science, television, magazines and technology, to think differently about the predators in their backyard.
This free program will be offered via Zoom and will take place online. To register, visit netartsbaywebs.org. or https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sharks-of-the-oregon-coast-registration-149388092807
This event is part of the Explore Nature series of hikes, walks, paddles and outdoor adventures. Hosted by a consortium of volunteer, community and non-profit organizations, these meaningful nature-based experiences highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve the area’s natural resources and natural resource-based economy. Find out more about Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS by following our Facebook and Instagram pages (@netartsbaywebs) and stay connected with the Explore Nature Partnership at www.explorenaturetillamookcoast.com or on social media (@explorenature_tillamookcoast).
We understand everyone learns differently and we are open to working with anyone that needs additional support. We will adjust how we offer this event to meet the needs of participants, however we have limited capacity. Please contact us in advance so we can do our best to accommodate your needs.
This event is primarily supported by the Oregon Community Foundation and private donations. Explore Nature series is partially supported by Tillamook Coast Visitors Association and the Travel Oregon Forever Fund.
Arch Cape Watershed Project Receives $2.5M Award
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service has announced the investment of $2.5 million in the Arch Cape Watershed project as part of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
With a goal of providing clean, safe, and affordable drinking water to Arch Cape residents and visitors, the Arch Cape Forest watershed project seeks to create a working community-owned forest that sustains the rich character and beauty of Oregon’s coastal rainforest for generations.
After being awarded $1 million last year from the same U.S. Forest Service “Forest Legacy” program, the Arch Cape Domestic Water Supply District secured an option to purchase timberland for the creation of the community forest and protected watershed.
“This investment by the USDA Forest Service is the next step in realizing our goal of a community forest in Arch Cape that permanently protects our drinking water,” said Dan Seifer, president of the district. “For some time, those in our community and our county have recognized the importance of protecting the source of our drinking water. I’m excited that others in our state, our region, and nationally are pointing to our project as a model for protecting a community’s water supply.”
Partnering with the North Coast Land Conservancy (NCLC), a nationally accredited nonprofit land conservancy, and Sustainable Northwest, conservation nonprofit, the District is proposing to purchase approximately 1,457 acres.
The acquisition is part of a larger, decades-long effort by the North Coast Land Conservancy to secure 3,500 adjoining acres of rare plants, critical forest habitat, and historical salmon-bearing streams, which will be known as the Rainforest Reserve. The property is owned by Onion Peak Holdings, and managed by EFM, a natural forest management company that manages lands with unique environmental and social attributes to restore forests to health.
The Portland law firm of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt is assisting the Arch Cape Water District with pro-bono legal guidance through the property acquisition.
Last year, Congress provided for permanent funding of LWCF in the Great American Outdoors Act. Land acquisition projects add lands to National Forests to improve public access, connect habitat, and protect natural resources.
The Forest Legacy Program is a conservation program administered by the Forest Service in partnership with State agencies to encourage the protection of privately owned forest lands through conservation easements or land purchases. Oregon Department of Forestry will be a key partner for the Arch Cape Water District during the project.
The Forest Service has been administering LWCF projects since 1964 along with the Department of the Interior. The fund provides critical support for Forest Service-led conservation projects including for critical acquisition of non-federal lands inside national forest and grassland boundaries.
About the Arch Cape Forest
Adjacent to both Oswald West State Park and Cape Falcon Marine Reserve, the proposed Arch Cape Forest has great cultural and scenic value. Securing local ownership of this unique property and establishing a community forest offers numerous benefits, including clean water, and stabilized water rates, along with conservation and recreation opportunities.
Counties Move Back to ‘High Risk’ Allowing Indoor Dining Friday
Lane County and 14 other counties currently in “extreme risk” COVID restrictions will move back to “high risk” Friday. Gov.
Restaurant owners are breathing a small sigh of relief as the change will allow restaurants to return to indoor dining on the heels of Mother’s Day, typically a busy day for eateries. Additionally, indoor entertainment and gyms can significantly increase capacity, and social gatherings can expand.
“Let me be clear: across the state, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still high, and Oregon is not out of the woods yet,” Brown said in a news release.
Last week, Oregon recorded the fastest-growing COVID-19 infection rate in the nation, and Brown on Friday said she was “gravely concerned” about the state’s hospital capacity. This triggered the further restrictions in 15 counties, including Lane, including banning indoor dining and significantly decreasing capacity in indoor spaces.
The statewide seven-day average increase for hospitalized COVID-19 positive patients dropped below 15%, state officials reported Tuesday. Statewide hospitalization rates are one of the two metrics — the other is number of people in hospital beds — established that determine if the state triggers “extreme risk” status to counties that qualify.
The state barely came short — the weekly percent increase in hospitalizations stands at 14.9%, according to the Oregon Health Authority.
“With Oregonians continuing to get vaccinated each week, my expectation is that we will not return to ‘extreme risk’ again for the duration of this pandemic,” Brown said.
In total, 24 counties will be at “high risk,” four at “moderate risk” and eight at “lower risk.”
Major restrictions under ‘high risk,’ starting Friday:
Eating and drinking establishments:
- Indoor dining allowed, takeout highly recommended
- Indoor capacity not to exceed 25% maximum occupancy or 50 people, whichever is smaller
- Outdoor dining allowed, 75 people maximum, including individual dining pods
- Six people per table maximum and limit of two households for both indoor and outdoor seating
- 11 p.m. closing time
- Indoor entertainment (such as aquariums, indoor theaters, arenas, concert halls, indoor gardens, indoor museums): maximum 25% occupancy or 50 people total, whichever is smaller; 11 p.m. closing time
- Faith institutions, funeral homes, mortuaries, cemeteries: Indoor capacity of a maximum 25% occupancy or 150 people total, whichever is smaller; an outdoor capacity of 200 people maximum
- Outdoor entertainment establishments: Maximum 75 people
AROUND the STATE of OREGON
Wild Fire Awareness: Free Preparedness and Prevention Webinar Thursday 5/6 12pm
May is Wildfire Awareness Month, and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is scheduled to host a wildfire preparedness and prevention panel webinar event in partnership with Keep Oregon Green, Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, Oregon Department of Forestry, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, and the Oregon State University Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Fire Program.
WHEN: 12 p.m. Thursday, May 6. The webinar is scheduled for 40-minutes with time allowed for Q&A.
WHERE: Register here: https://bit.ly/3dH4bOk
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the event. Pre-registration is required to attend.
OEM will also live stream the webinar on the agency Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OMDOEM/.
A prescribed fire that started Tuesday northeast of Chiloquin is now classified as a wildfire.
Now known as the Meadow Fire, it is burning about 5 miles northeast of Chiloquin but is moving away from the community, according to fire managers. The initial plan was to treat about 4,000 acres to reduce fuels and the danger of extreme wildfire in the area. About 345 acres were burned successfully on Tuesday. But a decision was made Wednesday morning to postpone any additional burning and instead secure fire lines. But, according to fire crews at the scene, “things deteriorated faster than expected” on Wednesday.
With morning temperatures in the high 60s and smoke filling the sky, it feels more like late summer in the Klamath Basin than the beginning of May . Based on smoke modeling and communications from Forest Service staff, the particulates are coming from several prescribed burns in the area.
Smoke early yesterday came from The Stateline/Strawberry prescribed burn in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, a little more than halfway between Klamath Falls and Lakeview. Crews there already burned 6,580 acres on Monday and Tuesday and expect to burn about 1,000 more. The Forest Service estimates the total size of the burn to be 8,000 to 9,000 acres once it’s finished. Burns are meticulously planned and controlled by public lands managers to ensure minimal impact to surrounding communities, according to the Forest Service.
Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update
Massive Search for Missing Woman Planned Near Meacham on Saturday
Umatilla County Search and Rescue and the Oregon State Police are coordinating a multi-agency search near Meacham for Deborah Hendricks, 56, of Ada County Idaho this weekend. She was reported missing in January. The search will begin at about 8 a.m. Saturday and continue through Sunday, depending on the results. The search area will concentrate on the area surrounding the eastbound side of Interstate 84 near milepost 238, where her abandoned vehicle was found after she was reported missing.
The robust search effort will include 90 personnel. There could be as many as 10 K9 teams, four drones, and 35 ground searchers. The exact number of participants will not be known until check-in time Saturday.
The search areas include portions of Kamela Highway, Hancock Road, the I-84 interchange bridge and road toward Meacham, the railroad and bridge, the road into Meacham Lake, area creeks, bodies of water, and wooded land. The objective is the search is to locate any possible items Hendrichs may have had on her person or her remains.
ODOT personnel and the Union Pacific Railroad have liaisons to ensure the safety of the search personnel since the area includes both interstate and railroad lines. ODOT is also providing the location for a command post with power and portable bathrooms. In addition, the railroad, Cunningham Sheep Company, and Hancock Timber Resource Group are cooperating with searchers since a large portion of the area is owned by those businesses.
The organizers are asking the general public to remain out of the area unless they are residents. Hunters with spring turkey or bear tags are asked to choose an alternate hunt location during those days. People who live in the area should also be aware that drones will be flying overhead. The drones are not invading homeowner privacy. They are concentrating on areas away from occupied buildings and bodies of water.
Searchers on the ground will also be staying away from occupied homes and curtilage, however if a home appears to have been vacant throughout the winter or looks to have been broken into, they will notify the landowner in an attempt to eliminate any possibility that the missing woman may have entered an unoccupied residence or structure seeking assistance. A website has been developed for information on this mission. There is also a separate email address for anyone with questions prior to and during the search. Any updates on the search will be posted on the website at https://sterrinward.wixsite.com/website. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oregon Drivers Can Renew License Online Now
Oregonians no longer need to visit the DMV to renew their license. In addition, the federal deadline for getting a Real ID has been pushed to May 2023
Usually a drivers license or ID card renewal in Oregon requires a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Starting as soon as May 5, the agency says, most Oregonians will be able to renew these documents online.
The DMV will use the photo that’s on file and mail out the physical card in about two weeks.
Spokesperson David House said the new process will help the agency work through its backlog of other kinds of transactions that have been slowed due to the coronavirus.
“It frees up appointment times at DMV offices, which are still limited by the COVID-19 restrictions,” he said. “And so this will help everybody, not just the people taking advantage of the convenience but also every other DMV customer as well.”
People who want to upgrade to a so-called “Real ID” license will still need to make an in-person visit, as will drivers who want to add a motorcycle or farm endorsement.
“We don’t know if this will be a permanent change,” House said. But regardless of whether or not the Oregon DMV offers this long-term, “if you renew online this time, then the next time you renew you’ll have to come in person, because your photo will be 16 years old by that time.”
Oregon Lawmakers Pass Gun Bill
After much emotional debate on both sides, The Oregon House on Thursday passed a bill that would mandate safe storage of firearms, ban them from the state Capitol and allow public schools and colleges to ban concealed carrying of handguns.
The bill, Senate Bill 554, next goes to the Senate, which had passed a much narrower version of the bill before it was amended. Two separate gun bills had been watered down somewhat and then combined into one measure.
The bill is aimed at reducing the number of accidentally shootings by children who get ahold of guns, of suicides and of mass shootings. It requires firearms to be secured with a trigger or cable lock, in a locked container or in gun room. Among those who testified earlier was Paul Kemp, whose brother-in-law Steve Forsyth was killed with a stolen gun in a mass shooting at a Portland-area shopping mall in 2012.
The bill also authorizes the board of a public university, community college or school district to adopt a policy banning concealed handgun licensees from possessing firearms on school grounds.
The debate in Oregon over guns mirrors similar discussions being held nationwide, with little movement on gun control, even as the number of mass shootings climbs again as the nation eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Previously, the measure imposed strict liability on people who violate the statute and whose guns are used to injure or kill another person. Instead, it now imposes a negligence standard. It also previously would have allowed local governments to prohibit concealed handgun licensees to have guns on their properties. The new version does not allow that.
The bill passed the House with 34 votes in favor and 24 against. Democrats, who overwhelmingly favor the bill, have a majority in both the House and Senate.
Dutch Bros Coffee Considering IPO
Dutch Bros Coffee is considering an initial public offering by the end of the year, according to a Bloomberg report this week that cited multiple sources.
The report said the company, which received a minority investment in 2018 from the private equity group TSG Consumer Partners, is talking with advisors and is seeking a valuation of $3 billion.
A representative for the fast-growing coffee chain, however, called the report “pure speculation.” But the representative also noted there are “several ways” a private equity can exit its investment—not just an IPO.
Dutch Bros Coffee recently made headlines with the instant success of its rewards program, Dutch Rewards, created in partnership with Paytronix, which drew 1.4 million users within its first month. In addition to offering loyalty points, the rewards app also features contactless payment options, both of which are features that encourage a significant share of customers to spend more on their order. As Paytronix CEO Andrew Robbins said in the release announcing this milestone, “The Dutch Bros app not only uses wallets and app stickers, but also has a level of gamification that shows the type of creativity that we love to see from our customers and partners.”
However, in the leadup to this potential IPO, it is worth noting that U.S.-based coffee shops are hardly a bull market right now. Research firm Allegra World Coffee Portal estimates that sales for U.S. branded coffee shops fell 24 percent during 2020, and that these sales will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023.
Dutch Bros has benefitted, since the start of the pandemic, from being a primarily drive-thru business, a low-contact ordering channel that has fared well during the past 14 months. Rather than competing with coffee shop chains that push delivery, which Dutch Bros does not offer, and chains that center the sit-down experience, which represents only a small portion of Dutch Bros’ business, Dutch Bros focuses on its drive-thru strength.
Across the U.S., coffee shop businesses have been looking for ways to adapt to consumers’ changed behaviors in response to the pandemic. The National Coffee Association recently announced the results of its Spring 2021 National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) survey, which found that drive-thru and app-based ordering are each up 30 percent since the start of 2020, that coffee preparation in the workplace is down 55 percent, that over 40 percent of Americans tried new types of coffee during the pandemic, and that 85 percent of coffee drinkers consume at least one cup at home each day.
To capture this rising interest in at-home coffee consumption and this willingness to try new coffee flavors, many brands have been pushing their coffee subscription programs. (Dutch Bros offers its own monthly subscription, but the program is not central to its product strategy.) In the crowded subscription space, brands must have a unique value proposition to thrive.