It’s been three months since the Eugene City Council approved City Manager Sarah Medary’s (no longer Pro Tem) administrative order on March 17, which declared a state of emergency during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak in Lane County. So much was changing then that we started providing you with a weekly Community Update the next day, March 18.
Eugene’s emergency declaration ended June 9. The City, Lane County and much of Oregon have entered the second phase in the gradual reopening of the economy. While the City of Eugene’s emergency declaration has expired, Lane County’s has not.
With City efforts moving from pandemic response to recovery, this Community Update will shift from a weekly email to a less-frequent schedule. Rest assured, we will continue to inform you of COVID-19 news in Eugene in future editions.
We have plenty of positive news to share in this Community Update, including the opening of City playgrounds and Amazon Pool, which have been closed because of the pandemic, and the resumption of some library services.
Here is the latest information on how the City continues to adjust programs and initiatives.
Parks and Open Space
Eugene Parks and Open Space is pleased to have reopened all playgrounds. The reopening of more than 50 playgrounds took place Friday, June 12 after receiving revised Phase 2 approval from the governor.
Playground equipment is not being sanitized by Parks staff. We recommend park visitors wash hands before and after visiting a playground, maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet and bring hand sanitizer and/or sanitizing wipes for personal use on any surfaces touched. Sand play areas remain closed.
Please stay home if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
Learn more about City of Eugene Parks and Open Space.
Eugene Public Library
The Downtown Library book returns opened June 15 for limited hours: 7 a.m.- 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The book returns at Bethel and Sheldon branches will remain closed. Items from any location may be returned Downtown. There is no need to rush to return items. All items now on loan have had their due dates extended to Sept. 14. No overdue fines will be charged during this time. Returned items will be quarantined before being loaned out again.
We will begin notifying cardholders with held items to ask them to make appointments for curbside pick up at their usual library location: Downtown, Bethel or Sheldon.
If your library card was already expired or has been blocked from use, if you do not have a library card or if you live in the Eugene area but outside City limits please call us (number below) and we can register you for free access to use online services during this time.
If you have questions, our staff is available to help by phone. Please call us at 541-682-5450 (seven days a week, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.). We are also available by email at email@example.com or live chat.
Pools: Amazon Pool will soon be open! The pool will open June 22 for lap swim and on-your-own fitness only. Lap swimming and fitness will require prior lane registration to participate. Drop-ins will not be taken. Register for Your Time.
Do you have your Participant Card? We are now requiring all participants to register for a free participant card before activity registration. Get Your Participant Card
We are hoping to have Sheldon Pool open with similar programming mid-July. We are hard at work planning how and when to safely add other programming. Thank you for your patience as we work out the details.
Summer Camps: Camps begin June 22. Camp registration filled quickly, but some spaces may be available, mainly in preschool camps. Check availability through the online registration website.
Evolving homelessness response
The City continues to work on finding solutions for those experiencing homelessness. We are proud to have worked with our partners to stand up multiple designated temporary shelter sites and to create outreach teams that spread out through our city to help those who needed it the most.
Microsites: As Eugene moved into Phase 2, the community centers and adjacent facilities are starting to offer more services, so longer-term locations had to be found to replace the Designated Temporary Shelter Sites. We placed some residents in existing programs including Rest Stops and Overnight Parking Programs. Others were placed into new locations called micro shelter sites, or microsites. The first microsite was created at Skinner City Farm. City staff are actively looking for more locations to expand this program.
These sites will provide transitional shelter to a small group of individuals. Up to six Conestoga huts, tents or vehicles are allowed under City Code 4.816. The sites will be managed by local social service providers who will oversee general upkeep to help ensure the health and safety of individuals at the site and minimize impacts to the surrounding area and neighborhood.
If you want to learn more about these micro shelter sites, please read about it here.
Portable Restrooms and Handwashing Stations: The City is removing some of the portable restrooms and handwashing stations placed throughout the community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Portable facilities were placed on public property earlier in the COVID-19 outbreak to enhance community hygiene and sanitation, thereby reducing the risk of spreading the virus.
The City will use a data-driven approach when deciding which restrooms and handwashing stations to remove first. The restrooms and washing stations people used least will be the first to be removed from service. Some portable restrooms may remain in high needs areas and restrooms in Parks have begun to reopen as well. An online map with the locations of the restrooms will be continuously updated, however there may be a delay in data entry.
Our response to helping people experiencing homelessness is evolving, and you can read about what we are changing on our website.
As part of the City’s reopening and recovery efforts, the Downtown Ambassadors will be re-opening Kesey Square to offer space for the public to sit, eat lunch and order food from downtown restaurants and food carts. The program started June 15, and tables and chairs will be out from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and sanitized regularly, spaced 6-feet apart. We encourage people to wear masks when physical distancing is not possible. The City looks forward to welcoming the community back to downtown!
The public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have taken a serious toll on the Eugene economy, namely businesses and their employees. Businesses have had to change how they operate to keep their workers and their customers safe. The City is here to help. We’ve set up an email address that goes directly to the Business Help team: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more on our website about how we are here to help.
Protecting yourself and others
As the state reopens, it’s important to remember the risks and to continue to do our best to protect ourselves and one another. If we all follow the established protocols, we will help save the lives of our colleagues, neighbors, friends and family members.
Find a list of actions to protect yourself and others on our website if you want to find out more about the ways you can help do your part.
Learn More About Reopening Oregon
See a list of Community Resources for physical and mental health, food, housing, businesses, employees, schools and children, as well as information in Spanish. Also learn how you can help.
Our partners have a significant amount of information available online. Please visit these resources for the most up to date information: