City of Eugene: COVID-19 Community Update

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We have successfully made it through the first weekend of Lane County’s Phase 1 reopening that began May 15. As we focus on moving forward, it is more important than ever that we work together as a community to support our local businesses in a way that is respectful and safe for all. We’ll all need to be prepared for things to be a little different as we venture back out into the world, including being patient as we figure out this new phase together.

Please wear your masks for the safety of our neighbors who are – and have been – putting their health and lives at risk to bring you services. Please continue physical distancing. Please practice kindness and grace with those around you as we are all experiencing this process in our own way.

Below we’ve provided information on some frequently asked questions.

Should I wear a mask in public?

The CDC and the Oregon Health Authority strongly recommend wearing face coverings in public. As Oregon reopens and restrictions gradually lift on businesses and public spaces, it may be difficult to ensure you can stay six (6) feet away from others at all times.

Additionally, some businesses may choose to require face coverings, and certain businesses and transit have specific requirements. See detailed mask and face covering guidance for businesses, transit and the public.

Do I still need to practice physical distancing?

Yes. To protect yourself and others, continue to practice physical distancing of at least six (6) feet between you and people you don’t live with.

What can the City of Eugene do to help my business meet new Phase 1 guidelines?

The City of Eugene is providing information and other assistance to help employers operate under the State of Oregon’s Phase 1 guidelines. Our business assistance team welcomes questions about operating under the guidelines, as well as suggestions from employers on how municipal government can support the restarting of businesses and the economy. Learn more about our Business Support or email the business assistance team.

What happens if individuals or businesses don’t comply with reopening guidelines?

If you have concerns that a business is not properly adhering to the Governor’s Executive Orders regarding physical distancing of employees in the workplace, you can submit a form through Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is the lead agency related to grocery and convenience stores. Consumer complaints regarding customer behavior or a lack of customer physical distancing in the retail environment should be directed to the ODA.

Once you have reached out to these state agencies, if you would like to continue to pursue your business-related concern locally, you can contact the Lane County Non-Emergency COVID-19 Call Center at 541-682-1380 or email corona-info@lanecountyor.gov. They strive to be responsive with a strong emphasis on education. 

Community members should refrain from calling 9-1-1 if they have non-emergency needs. If you have a complaint about failure to follow the Governor’s Executive Order that is not related to a business, please contact your local city government or law enforcement provider using their non-emergency phone numbers. If you live in unincorporated Lane County, please call the call center number during business hours.

When can I send my kids back to daycare?

Child care providers that are ready to meet the state’s new rules are allowed to reopen. These rules, which apply statewide to all counties, were released last week.

Child care centers have to limit how many children come into contact with other youth and how many adults associate with each group of kids. They’ll also have to keep careful logs of when children and adults come and go so that health officials can trace who has been exposed if anybody gets sick.

Can I visit my loved one in a nursing home?

Not yet. Counties need to demonstrate at least three weeks of low COVID-19 transmission rates during Phase 1 of reopening before they can apply to enter Phase 2. The current Phase 2 guidelines are still being developed and may allow for limited visits to nursing homes and other so-called congregate-care facilities.

Can I visit my favorite restaurant?

Yes. In Phase 1, restaurants and bars are allowed to start serving seated meals.

To reopen, restaurants must ensure all tables are spaced at least six (6) feet apart. Groups eating together are limited to 10 people or fewer. Customers won’t be able to fill their plates at buffets or salad bars or to refill their drinks. Bar and restaurant staff need to wear face coverings. These businesses must close by 10 p.m.

Restaurants have been told they should encourage customers to call ahead or make a reservation. If there’s a long wait to be seated, customers may be asked to wait outside or in their cars.

You should check with your local restaurant to see if they are open during this time.

Can I hang out with friends?

Small gatherings are permitted in Phase 1, but there are still strict limits. No more than 25 people can get together for any event, they have to stay at least six (6) feet apart and they all must be local to the area. While this is allowed, it is still recommended to practice physical distancing measures for everyone’s health and safety. Group sports are still prohibited.

Can I get my hair done?

Barbershops and salons can reopen in Phase 1. Haircuts must be by appointment only — no walk-ins allowed. Stylists and barbers will be required to abide by state guidelines such as tracking their customers’ names and contact information, wearing protective gear and keeping customers six (6) feet apart from one another. They are also required to screen patrons – they will ask questions about how you’re feeling to verify you have not exhibited symptoms related to the virus.

Can I go shopping?

Yes, and State health officials strongly urge the use of masks for people who go out in public. Some people are required to wear face coverings to do their jobs, including health care workers and restaurant employees.

Some stores do require masks, and business owners may choose to deny entry to people who do not wear a mask.

Can I enjoy outdoor recreation or team sports?

The City of Eugene’s parks, trails and open spaces have remained open throughout the pandemic and continue to provide opportunities for physical activity while also providing opportunities for respite, health and wellness. Individuals are encouraged to use parks, trails and open spaces safely as they are able while following current guidance to maintain physical distance from others. Playgrounds, skateparks, outdoor sport courts and playground equipment, however, remain closed until further notice.

Gyms were allowed to reopen in Lane County beginning May 15 when we entered Phase 1. However, they must guarantee that patrons stay six (6) feet apart, and pools and showers remain closed. Contact sports are off-limits, and gyms are encouraged to ask their patrons to wear masks or other face coverings.

Gyms are also required to implement rigid sanitation protocols and track each person who works out and keep those records for at least 60 days.

When do we move into Phase 2?

After 21 days in Phase 1, counties continuing to meet the prerequisites may be able to enter Phase 2. Lane County’s ability to progress to Phase 2 relies on all of us working together and following all safety guidelines outlined for our gradual reopening.

Staying close to home as Oregon reopens

As counties reopen across Oregon, we’re asking you to stay local and close to home—meaning less than 50 miles in urban areas.

We know it may be tempting to visit other parts of the state but staying local will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to areas where it may not currently be circulating. Thank you for your efforts to keep your neighbors safe and healthy.

stay close to home oregon

Learn More About Reopening Oregon

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