We provided our last community update at the end of June, promising to email again when we had new information regarding the response to COVID-19. We feel that this week is an appropriate opportunity to touch base again as we have seen a steady climb in case numbers leading to Governor Kate Brown’s recent announcement to extend the statewide face covering requirement to include outdoor spaces and to limit the sizes of indoor gatherings beginning tomorrow, July 15.
While we remain in Phase 2, the number of active cases in our community continues to grow and the newest health modeling shows a potentially steep upward trend. Our teams continue to work closely with health experts at Lane County Public Health and the Oregon Health Authority. It will take the entire community working together to make a difference and stop the spike in cases.
Statewide Outdoor Face Covering Requirement – Effective July 15th
Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, July 15, masks, face shields and face coverings are required statewide in outdoor public spaces when physical distancing is not possible. This is in addition to the current statewide face covering requirement for indoor public spaces (for example, grocery stores, pharmacies, public transit, personal services providers, restaurants, bars, retail stores, and more). Governor Brown shared that the decision came because of the continued rise in COVID-19 cases both in urban and rural counties.
Children over the age of 2 and under the age of 12 are recommended, but not required, to wear a mask, face shield or face covering. People with a disability or medical condition may request accommodation from the business if they cannot wear a mask, face shield or face covering.
“Face coverings that cover your nose and mouth play a critical role in reducing the spread of this disease,” said Brown. “If we all wear face coverings, practice six feet of physical distancing in public, wash our hands regularly, and stay home when we’re sick, then we can avoid the worst-case scenarios that are now playing out in other states.”
Learn more about face covering requirements.
Indoor Social Gatherings Limited to 10 or Fewer
The Governor also issued a new ban on indoor gatherings of more than 10 people beginning, tomorrow, Wednesday July 15. This limit includes indoor dinner parties, birthday parties, graduations, potlucks, book clubs, etc. This new rule does not change the operation of businesses and churches at this time. Learn more from the Oregon Health Authority.
COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise in Oregon and Lane County – How Can You Help?
Think Before You Gather – Social Gatherings are Increasing Spread
Since Oregon began reopening, the Oregon Health Authority has seen the spread of COVID-19 when people get together to celebrate with family and friends. Some examples include:
COVID-19 is spreading more among social activities involving groups of younger people. OHA has recorded outbreaks linked to:
- Exercise classes
- Fraternity parties
- Bachelor parties
While it is difficult not to celebrate these events as we have in the past, COVID-19 is spreading in our communities and people must think hard about altering daily routines that may put people at risk.
OHA recommends that everyone:
- Limit the size of our gatherings – 10 or fewer people
- Keep our distance – at least 6 feet apart
- Cover our faces
- Find alternative ways for those who are vulnerable to participate.
Practice the 4 Ws:
- Wear a face covering – indoor and out, it’s a statewide requirement
- Watch your distance – stay 6-feet apart from those outside your household
- Wash your hands – soap and water for 20 seconds, often throughout the day
- Wait it out – Stay home if you are sick
Answer the Call – Contact Tracing is Important to Stop the Spread
If you get a call or voicemail from a Public Health contact tracer, please answer the call. Contact tracing is critical to our community’s ability to continue limiting the spread of COVID-19. People who participate in contact tracing are actively helping to keep their community safe by helping public health officials track the virus. For more information from Lane County Public Health on contact tracing please visit their contact tracing webpage.
Long Term Community Recovery Work Continues
The City of Eugene’s Long-Term Community Recovery team has been working hard to assess the unfolding damage to our community’s economy, housing, and wellbeing due to COVID-19 and to develop a comprehensive framework to address those damages. Our goal through these recovery efforts is to support community wellbeing by creating a state of comfort, happiness, and health so all individuals can thrive after the impacts of COVID 19.
Our whole-community planning process encompasses housing, health and social services, the economy, infrastructure, and natural and cultural resources. Equity and access are fundamental themes throughout all recommendations, particularly because impacts from COVID-19 are disproportionate for certain populations. We look forward to sharing more information with you in the coming weeks as we finalize the details of our recovery framework.
Applications for Rent Assistance for Lane County Renters Open July 15
Eligibility applications for rent assistance for Lane County renters open on Wednesday, July 15, at 9 a.m. and will close at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22.
A total of $5.1 million is available. The funding was provided by the federal COVID-19 CARES Act.
Eligible households that complete an application will be selected for funding via a lottery for expenses acquired beginning on March 1, 2020.
See important eligibility requirements and find the online application on Lane County’s website.
Also see the City’s Housing Support web page for additional resources.