Concerned about fire resilience and tree health? Wondering about the city’s initiatives to meet the goal of 30% tree canopy? Scott Altenhoff is the City of Eugene’s Urban Forest Analyst and Lead Arborist who has been working in the Parks and Open Spaces Division for over 16 years. Prior to that he worked as a commercial arborist. Scott will be our main speaker at the SHiNA General Meeting on Sunday, September 12th at 6:30pm.
The Urban Forestry Division strives to promote a healthier and more sustainable urban forest, foster community tree awareness and stewardship, and develop tree projects including increasing citywide canopy.
It will be nice when we can meet again at the historic Wayne Morse Family Farm, but until that time, we continue to hold our General Meetings (free and open to all regardless of where you live) via ZOOM.
Testing positive for COVID-19 can make anyone feel nervous. Knowing what to do when you get a positive test result is important for your health and the health of people around you. The first thing to know is that you should do the same things whether you are fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or unvaccinated.
Since Oregon is currently experiencing a large number of COVID-19 cases, it is straining case investigation and contact tracing resources. This means you may not receive a phone call from your health department after you test positive.
Here’s what to do if you have COVID-19:
Stay home and stay separate from others.
If you have symptoms you can be around others after:
You have no fever for 24 hours without the use of medicine, AND
Your symptoms improve, AND
At least 10 days have passed since your first symptoms.
If you don’t have symptoms you can be around others after:
10 days have passed since your test, and you have no symptoms.
Tell your close contacts right away so they can isolate and stop the spread.
Tell your close contacts right away
The sooner you let anyone you came in close contact with before your diagnosis know, the sooner they can take action to stop the spread, including quarantining if not fully vaccinated.
If you had or have symptoms: Contact the people you were in close contact with beginning 2 days before your symptoms began.
If you did not or do not have symptoms: Contact the people you were in close contact with beginning 2 days before you took your COVID-19 test.
If you need help you can:
Call your local public health department if you need support to isolate.
Call 211 for information on vaccinations, testing, and other resources
Call your health care provider if you’re concerned that your symptoms are not improving.
The feelings of grief, loss and loneliness that we may have right now are normal. The loss of each of our loved ones is painful and the impacts ripple outward. We are also mourning and handling many other kinds of losses.
A lot of us have been wearing masks for a while. If you have kids over age two, chances are they’re great at it too.
As parents, we’re asked to do a lot to keep our kids safe. It’s been especially true through this pandemic. It is normal to feel anxious, unsure and tired. With school starting so soon, it’s okay to feel uncertain about how to talk to kids about masking. OHA’s statewide rule for 2021-22 school year requires face coverings in all indoor school settings, both public and private, for all people two years and older, including all students, staff, contractors, volunteers and visitors.
Here are some tips to support your kids to feel confident in choosing to mask up at school:
Kids pick up on our moods even before we’re aware of them. Having a talk with your kids about their feelings and worries is a great first step. Acknowledging those emotions and working together helps everyone feel supported.
By now, your kids know why wearing a mask is important. (Thank you so much!) Kids love helping. For younger kids, try and find the positive reasons why wearing a mask is important.
Model masking yourself and through others by talking about other heroes who wear masks. Heroes like doctors and nurses and health care professionals wear masks! Your kids may respond best to superheroes or cartoon characters.
Practice effective masking at home. Practice putting on and taking off masks in front of a mirror. Have fun adjusting the straps and nose pieces. Younger kids love playing teacher, you could do an art project together while wearing your masks.
Encourage them and notice good masking behavior. No matter the age, let them know that you’re proud of them and that they should be proud of themselves! Thank them for being amazing helpers and friends.
Prepare them for mask free times such as lunch or recess. Let your children know it’s okay to take off their masks when they’re eating and drinking with others. You’re already doing an amazing job teaching them to be comfortable with their bodies. A mask is just another side of it.
Practice talking about masking: When at school, your kids will meet friends who have different ideas about masking. Be open and honest about your family culture and your feelings. Role-playing is a great way to problem solve and practice together. There are so many great and kind ways to build confidence in masking as a safe practice with statements like, “I like my mask. I feel safe with it on, and I hope you to feel safe with me too.” No matter what, let them know there are safe adults who will support them in school.
Prepare yourself for the after-school check in. It’s okay to want to ask if they felt safe and if they had problems with their mask that you could solve together. Let it be a part of the conversation.
Talk to your teacher about masking encouragement, enforcement and support. Honest conversations do so much and may help navigate all those emotions we’re feeling.
Eugene Ready!, is a hands-on, interactive event to practice emergency response skills. The sponsors and organizers are PathfinderEX, a group of veterans and medical people. The event will focus on neighborhood response during a major disaster, neighborhood surveying to find strengths and needs of those who live nearby, and neighborhood communication. This is not a power point presentation, more like a drill. The event is meant to empower neighborhoods in the event of a disaster.
State and local guidelines for Covid will be followed.
Masks Required Indoors Statewide – Begins Friday, August 13
This morning Governor Kate Brown announced a statewide mask requirement for all indoor public settings, including businesses, regardless of vaccination status, effective this Friday, August 13. The new mandate comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations break records throughout the state due to the highly transmissible delta variant.
Yesterday, 264 positive cases were reported in Lane County within 24 hours – the highest one day total for the county since the pandemic began in 2020.
The number of hospitalizations of Lane County residents with COVID-19 is also exceeding daily census counts observed during the winter surge and stressing the capacity of our local hospital system. Lane County, as Oregon’s second largest regional hospital hub, is receiving patients from other counties in Southwest Oregon. Statewide hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients is concerning as over 590 individuals were hospitalized in Oregon on August 9, 2021, over 150 of whom were in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds. You may remember that 300 hospitalized COVID-19 patients was previously considered a critical data point for the state.
Breakthrough cases (fully or partially vaccinated individuals who subsequently test positive for COVID-19) make up roughly 20% of the current cases.
Vaccination remains our most important tool in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly when coupled with masking and social distancing, and significantly reduces the risk of severe disease. You can view information on vaccination availability (including primary care providers and pharmacy partners) and clinics on Lane County’s website.
Lane County Public Health Offers $50 Gift Card to Anyone Who Receives a Vaccine at an LCPH Vaccination Clinic
Effective today, Lane County Public Health (LCPH) will offer $50 Visa cards to anyone over the age of 12 who receives a vaccine from a Lane County Public Health vaccine clinic. The first clinic the $50 incentive will be offered at is this evening from 4-6 PM at Churchill High School and is open to all community members.
The $50 incentive is ONLY offered at LCPH vaccine clinics. It is not available at the Community Health Centers of Lane County, pharmacies, or other provider clinics.
Who is eligible?: All unvaccinated Lane County residents over the age of 12.
How does it work?: The $50 will be issued in the form of a Visa card at the time of vaccination that can be used anywhere that accepts Visa. Participants will receive $50 per dose (1 card for the first dose, 1 card for the second dose)
What about the 1-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine?: Johnson & Johnson recipients will only receive one $50 card.
Is there a household limit?: No. all individuals over the age of 12 in a household are eligible to receive a $50 card.
OHSU Statement on COVID-19 Forecast and Delta Variant
The delta variant of COVID-19 is extremely contagious, and Oregon is now facing a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations because of it. When our hospitals are full, all Oregonians are at risk.
The latest data on the delta variant and its predicted impact on Oregon is dire. By Labor Day, Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) predicts that the state will be short 400-500 needed staffed hospital beds. This means that some Oregonians will not be able to get hospital care for COVID-19 or any other condition.
Cases are rapidly rising and the current forecast predicts that Oregon will have more than 1,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients by Labor Day. This is the worst-case scenario that Oregonians worked so hard to avoid since March of 2020.
Lane County Public Health Resumes Weekly COVID-19 Press Conferences
In order to provide greater clarity around the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, communicate what tools will enable our community to mitigate this rise, and help local media partners have greater access to public health professionals, Lane County Public Health has resumed weekly press conferences.
Today, Governor Brown announced statewide indoor mask requirements. Indoor mask use will be mandatory starting Friday, Aug. 13, in response to surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Additionally, it’s become clear that gatherings should take place outside as much as possible.
We all hoped the days of regular mask-wearing were a thing of the past for vaccinated Oregonians. Unfortunately, the Delta variant has changed that.
Based on the modeling released this week from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), August and September will challenge all of us, because it’s clear that the pandemic is surging back. The fifth wave is much more severe than could have been anticipated just weeks ago.
Medical experts now know that the Delta variant of COVID-19 creates a larger viral load in our systems and the virus stays in our systems longer. This means it’s far more contagious.
Today, Oregon smashed its previous record for hospitalizations due to the virus with 635 people in hospitals across the state. The previous record was 584 last November. We are on pace to exceed the number of available hospital beds in the state by around 500 patients by early September, per OHSU projections. Today’s record number of hospitalizations is a stark reminder that the pandemic isn’t over and that the Delta variant, which is now the dominant variant circulating in Oregon, is 2–3 times more infectious than early COVID-19 variants.
This means our hospital capacity is as low as it’s ever been. While this is a risk for COVID patients, it’s also an enormous risk for other Oregonians who are sick or need surgery but won’t have access to a hospital bed.
If you are unvaccinated, please get vaccinated as quickly as possible. Vaccines are safe, effective and widely available. While it’s discouraging to see some breakthrough cases, vaccinated people are still much less likely to get severely ill or die. The CDC noted this week that 99.999% of fully vaccinated Americans have not had a deadly COVID-19 breakthrough case.
Vaccines are also the best way to prevent the growth of a new variant that may be stronger than Delta. Let’s all commit to stopping the next variant!
While this news is certainly distressing, let’s remember that we’ve successfully flattened the curve four times. Now, we must do it again. Try to be as cautious as you can – double-mask, stay home, do all the things that have kept us safe so far.
Recommendation on additional vaccine dose for immunocompromised people in Oregon
Before the additional dose can be administered to immunocompromised patients in Oregon, the CDC recommendation must be reviewed and approved by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which meets today, Aug. 13.
The workgroup’s decision will be published on OHA’s website as soon as it is available.
School-Based Health Centers and Vaccinations
School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) are a vital community tool for supporting young people’s health and well-being. Located in schools or on school grounds, these clinics provide medical care, behavioral health services and, often, dental services to school-aged youth. Oregon has over 75 SBHCs across the state which makes them easily accessible for many families. SBHCs can make sure that your child is prepared to start the school year healthy. They offer well-child visits and can ensure that children are caught up on the immunizations required for school. The health care staff is also ready and willing to answer your questions about vaccination. And if your child is 12 or older, an SBHC can also provide them with the COVID-19 vaccine. To learn more about SBHCs, check out the full story on the Oregon Vaccine News blog.
Helping children wear masks
While masking has become a routine practice for many of us, kids who are mostly at home have been able to avoid wearing masks for long periods. With school starting soon, some kids may need a little help getting comfortable with masking up. Masks will be required for Kindergarten through 12thgrade in Oregon.
Children who are sensitive may find it difficult to become comfortable with wearing a mask. Dr. Elizabeth Super, a pediatrician at Oregon Health & Science University’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, wrote a great article called, From “No!” to Masking Pro: Helping Your Hesitant Child Mask Up,on the Oregon Pediatric Society’s website.
Dr. Super gives the following tips as a as a pediatrician and a parent of two school age children:
Encourage: The more you wear the mask, the better!
Model: Put masks on your children’s teddy bears and draw pictures with masks. Point out celebrities and athletes who are wearing masks if you are watching television together.
Positive Reinforcement: Reward for mask time ON, not for the mask being off.
Routine: Make masking part of your routine. Try out different masks. Some children prefer different textures. Have children pick out fabrics to sew home-made masks.
Storytelling: “Other heroes wear masks, too! Firefighters, pilots, and doctors wear masks. Now you can be a hero and wear a mask, too.”
Excessive Heat Warning in Effect: Dangerously hot conditions expected Sunday and Monday.
We will be posting information about cooling centers and other resources here for the duration of this extreme weather event as part of our work on the Lane Coalition of Organizations Active in Disaster Response.
The Lane Events Center, Expo Hall 2 and Convention Center rooms 3 and 4. Will be open 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday, June 26th and Sunday, June 27th.
The Eugene Service Station will be open (8:30am-5pm 7 days/week) and First Place Family Center (8-5) will have water when visiting the folks in overnight and safe parking spots.
All water fountains and splash pads in Eugene are turned on for summer. Splash pads are available at:
Fairmount Park (E. 15th Ave. and Fairmount Blvd. )
Oakmont Park (2295 Oakmont Way )
Skinner Butte Park (248 Cheshire Ave. )
Washington Park (2025 Washington St. )
The Downtown Library is open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, closed on Sunday. Regular services are available. People can cool off while browsing, and 1-hour time slots are available for people to use a computer or access wi-fi. The second floor of the Library will have 14 spaces marked out that are 6×6 feet and can accommodate four people per group (max of 56 people at a time).
Black Thistle Street Aid will be at Washington Jefferson Park on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. distributing water and other supplies as long as they last.
The Alluvium canceled Lost Caboose Talent Night for Sunday 4pm-8pm and are instead making it into a cooling center, 810 W 3rd Ave, Eugene
Hilyard Community Center will open from 12pm tp 7pm on Sunday
Water Misters beneath City Hall, 225 Fifth Street in Springfield. Available from 2 pm to 8 pm each day starting Saturday, June 26.
Water bottle filling station beneath City Hall, 225 Fifth Street in Springfield. Available from 2 pm to 7 pm each day starting Saturday, June 26.
As we ease into a holiday weekend, many people in Oregon who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will continue to wear a mask in public places. For those fully vaccinated people who want to take their mask off where allowed with proof of vaccination, please remember:
Your original COVID-19 vaccination card (photo or photo-copy okay) is the best proof of vaccination.
If you don’t have that card, replacement cards may not be available but there are other forms of acceptable alternative COVID-19 vaccination proof. Proof of vaccination must have your name, date of birth, and date and type of COVID-19 vaccine.
You may be able to print a record of your vaccinations from your personal electronic healthcare record on your provider’s website such as My Chart (you may need to black out other information on the record that you don’t want to share);
Request a copy of your immunization record from Oregon’s ALERT IIS registry (Call 211 for help; be prepared to wait at last five days before receiving record); or
Ask your health care provider to print out your immunization record and mail it to you or ask to pick it up if that is quicker.
If you don’t have proof of vaccination, you can still enter an establishment but you must wear a mask and physically distance. Have a safe weekend!