Today finds the winter holidays upon us, and this time of year would normally be bustling with celebrations and get-togethers. We understand and appreciate how difficult it has been to do things differently this year, and we extend our deepest gratitude to all of those who changed their routines these many months to protect themselves and the community. Vaccines are currently being distributed around the country and here in Oregon, and we can look forward to a safer holiday season in 2021.
Lane County Remains in Extreme Risk Category
Oregon’s Risk and Protection Framework, started Dec. 3, uses data to help inform safety measures at the county level. Every two weeks, Governor Kate Brown’s office announces the revised risk status of each county based on current data. Lane County continues to fall under the extreme risk category for the current two-week period that started Dec. 14.
What’s allowed under extreme risk:
- Outdoor dining; takeout highly recommended
- Retail stores, including Farmers and Holiday markets; max 50 percent of capacity, encourage curbside pickup
- Faith institutions; indoor max 25 percent capacity or 100 total (whichever is smaller), 150 outdoor
- Parks, hiking trails and outdoor gardens
- Outdoor recreation and fitness establishments; max 50 people
- Amazon Pool is open for limited lap swimming
- Outdoor entertainment establishments; max 50 people
- Personal services
Learn more about the new health and safety framework on our Keeping Eugene Safe page.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
The first vaccines were administered this week in the United States, with the initial focus being on health care workers and people in long-term care facilities. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) submitted a draft plan to CDC on how it plans to distribute approved COVID-19 vaccines that are considered safe and effective.
We anticipate that federal and state requirements for the four basic public health measures (the 4 Ws) we are currently practicing will likely remain for the foreseeable future because it will take time for 70 percent of our population to receive both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine – the percentage that experts project we will need to reach herd immunity. Scientific research indicates the vaccines being developed are highly effective at protecting people from contracting the disease, but it is still unknown whether the vaccines prevent transmission of the virus.
Learn more about vaccines on our new Vaccines page.
Support Local Businesses
Thank you for shopping locally this holiday season and in the new year. Making purchases at our local businesses means more money stays right here in our community, we support community jobs and reduced environmental impact.
For those remaining items on your holiday shopping list, check out the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce’s shop local guide.
Winners Announced for Stop the Spread: A COVID-19 Messaging Contest
The City of Eugene sought submissions from people ages 14-30 living in Lane County for Stop the Spread, a community COVID-19 Messaging Contest geared toward young adults. Stop the Spread encouraged anyone ages 14-30 to submit visual (graphic design or illustrative) or video content (no longer than 30-seconds) in English or Spanish that emphasizes to their peers the importance of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The City received 67 entries in total, and the winners are:
- Graphic (Ages 14-18): Jailyn Arleth Becerra-Brigido https://engage.eugene-or.gov/stopthespread/brainstormers/14-18graphic/ideas/12101
- Graphic (Ages 19-22): Izabella Dentler https://engage.eugene-or.gov/stopthespread/brainstormers/19-22graphic/ideas/12120
- Graphic (Ages 23-30): Erin Tomb https://engage.eugene-or.gov/stopthespread/brainstormers/23-30graphic/ideas/12134
- Video (Ages 14-18): Bennett Krupka https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOFrcS3R5SM&feature=youtu.be
- Video (Ages 19-22): Patrick Riley & Audrey Barrett https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUdDt0Eyq54&feature=youtu.be
- Video (Ages 23-30): Kristen Marsters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk5tPzsB2ww&feature=youtu.be
- Spanish language (any age): Arianna Alvarez https://engage.eugene-or.gov/stopthespread/brainstormers/14-18graphic/ideas/12191
Winners were selected by a panel of judges and a public vote. All winning entries are available for download in a publicly available social media toolkit. Anyone can use this content to help message the importance of curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Stay Safe This Holiday Season
Once again, our winter holiday traditions will need to look different than in past years. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) offers suggestions for maintaining your festivities and traditions with those in your household and include others virtually, including:
- Lighting candles over video together with family and friends near and far.
- Singing holiday songs with singalong.
- Watching holiday-themed movies as a family.
- Crafting or baking and dropping off what you’ve created without contact.
- Playing a game over the internet.
- Viewing holiday decorations around the neighborhood with people you live with, either by foot or car.
Follow the Four:
- Stay six feet apart
- Wear a mask
- Wash Your hands
- Avoid large gatherings
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:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- State of Oregon
- Oregon Health Authority
- Lane County Public Health
Lane County Call Center: Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., 541-682-1380