Governor Brown reinstates statewide masking mandate

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

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) have recommended an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine be administered to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems.

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.” 

For specific advice on how to help younger children mask up, check out Kids & Masks: The Why & How 5 tips to help your child wear a face mask or covering.

Find more masking tips at Mask Up Oregon Kids

Excessive Heat Warning in Effect throughout Eugene

Excessive Heat Warning in Effect: Dangerously hot conditions expected Sunday and Monday.

LOCAL Resources

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.

Eugene

  • 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

Springfield

  • 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.
  • Splash will be open:
  • Saturday 11AM–3PM and 3:30–7:30PM
  • Sunday 11AM–3PM and 3:30–7:30PM

For more Lane County resources, visit http://www.lanecounty.org/HHS

For other counties, visit https://www.klcc.org/post/cooling-centers-klcc-listening-area

How to present proof of vaccination

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!

Reaching Community Immunity and getting back to a Low Risk Level


We need 10,005 – 16 and over individuals to get their first dose to get to 65% and permanently move back to the Low Risk level!

ALL PERSONS AGE 12+ ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A COVID-19 VACCINE.

Pfizer is approved for ages 12 and over
Moderna is approved for ages 18 and over
Johnson & Johnson is approved for ages 18 and over.  

Need a copy of your Vaccine Record?

Your immunization was recorded in the state ALERT immunization record system. If you need a copy of your vaccine information the quickest and easiest way is to complete the form below and email to alertiis@state.or.us or print and mail to:

   
    ALERT IIS
    800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 370
    Portland, Oregon 97232

 

You can also request a copy of records from your pharmacy or primary care provider who can access the ALERT system records.
 

Form for requesting records.

More information on ALERT immunization records can be found here.

Every person who chooses to get vaccinated brings us all a step closer to moving past the COVID-19 pandemic. As a trusted messenger to your family and friends, you can play a role in their decision to vaccinate.   Here are some tips on having conversations about the COVID-19 vaccine.

1. LISTEN TO THEIR QUESTIONS WITH EMPATHY

COVID-19 vaccines are new, and it’s normal for people to have questions about them. The sheer amount of information—and misinformation—about COVID-19 vaccines can be overwhelming to anyone. You can help by listening without judgment and identifying the root of their concerns. Acknowledge their emotions so they know they have been heard.

2. ASK OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE THEIR CONCERNS

Open-ended questions are meant to get more than a yes-or-no answer.  Asking open-ended questions can help you understand what your friend or family member is worried about, where they learned any troubling information, and what they have done to get answers to their questions. For example, you can ask, “How did watching that news report make you feel? What did you do next?”

Do not be judgmental and respectfully ask questions that help you understand their concerns. For example, avoid things like, “That’s a silly concern,” or “Why would you be worried about that?”  

3. ASK PERMISSION TO SHARE INFORMATION

Once you understand your friend or family member’s question or concern, ask if you can provide some information, tell them where you get information you trust and be careful not to push information on them. You can find answers to common questions from reputable sources, including the CDCthe FDAOregon Health Authority, Lane County Public Health, or other trusted sources such as their doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Lane County is hosting Doctor’s office hours on Facebook where they can attend virtually and ask questions of local providers.  

Sometimes, sharing quick, accurate answers to common concerns your family or friends might have can go a long way toward moving someone from worry to confidence. If you don’t know the answer to their questions, consider offering to help look for information.

4. HELP THEM FIND THEIR OWN REASON TO GET VACCINATED

Everyone who chooses to get vaccinated does it for a reason—to protect their family, to protect their children, to be less anxious, to visit their parents, or to get back to activities like seeing friends, resuming work, or returning to school. After addressing concerns with empathy, respect and facts, you can steer the conversation from “why not” to the important reasons that matter to them—their “why.” You may choose to share your reasons for getting vaccinated or discuss common goals you may have, like visiting with each other safely. The reasons that someone may choose to get vaccinated will always be those that are most compelling to them personally.

5. HELP MAKE THEIR VACCINATION HAPPEN

Once someone decides on their “why,” help them make a commitment to get vaccinated. Help make the path to vaccination shorter, easier, and less stressful for them. Offer to help your family member or friend make a vaccination appointment at a location nearby and, if needed, go with them to the appointment. Offer to help with transportation or to babysit if they need childcare.   Upcoming walk-in clinics and appointment scheduling are available here.  

CLICK HERE FOR A PDF OF THE 5 TIPS

Oregon adjusts guidelines for wearing masks and physical distancing indoors and outdoors

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) today released updated guidance about mask and physical distancing requirements for individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  

Now people who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear a mask indoors, in most public settings where vaccination status is checked.  

In public settings where vaccination status is not checked, masks will still be required.  

Finally, businesses and venue operators remain free to establish their own, more restrictive policies regarding mask usage.  

Here are links to the guidance: 

Interim Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals 

Statewide Reopening Guidance – Masks, Face Coverings, Face Shields 

Can’t find your vaccination card? Here are some ways you can replace it .

When you get vaccinated you will receive a vaccine card that shows the date, your name and birthday. Keep this card in a safe place. Take a picture or make a copy of your card as soon as you get it.  

If you have lost your vaccination card, you can replace the card: 

  • Contact the clinic where you got your vaccine 
  • Ask your health care provider for a record 
  • Follow the instructions on the ALERT IIS page  
  • Call 211 for help in languages other than English 

Oregon Vaccination Goals

Oregon surpasses 2 million vaccinated

Oregon reached another milestone in the efforts to vaccinate Oregonians — more than 2 million people have received at least one dose of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. 

According to the latest data, 2,006,179 people in Oregon have received at least one shot. Overall, 1,509,537 Oregonians have completed their series. 

“Based on our current trends, Oregon is on track to meet our goal of vaccinating 70% of adults by mid- to late-June,” said Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director Patrick Allen. “Thanks to all of our partners for helping us stay ahead of a virus that is circulating in our communities.” 

If you’re looking for a vaccine, the Get Vaccinated Oregon (GVO) tool has been updated to improve accessibility. Read more about it on the OHA blog.   

Governor Brown, OHA leadership discuss vaccination goals and reopening 

Today, Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director Patrick Allen talked about statewide vaccination targets, the County Risk Level framework and reopening the state’s economy. Here’s a summary of upcoming changes: 

County Risk Level framework soon coming to an end  

The County Risk Level framework will continue until 70% of people in Oregon ages 16 and older receive a first dose of a vaccine, at which point most of the restrictions laid out in the framework will be lifted.  

EVEVA announces next rEV Up! workshops on electric vehicle basics-May 17 & June 17

Workshops will cover topics such as EV charging, batteries, range, cost, purchase incentives, and benefits of ownership. Attendees at these two workshops are eligible for discounts of $200 to $1,000 on purchases of new EVs at four participating local auto dealerships.

EVEVA is producing the workshops in partnership with the City of Eugene, the U of O Office of Sustainability, EWEB, and most of the other local electric utilities.

Monday, May 17, 2021  –  7:00pm

Thursday, June 17, 2021  – 7:00pm

Registration is required, and can be completed at www.revuporegon.org

Link to register on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/784705092474205

Statewide Emergency Alert System for Oregon-AlertMe & Wildfire Protection Plan

When wildfires burned through Oregon last fall, many people didn’t receive a local emergency alert or evacuation message, which left them scrambling to evacuate safely. State officials have since approved a new emergency alert system meant to fix that.

The system, called OR-Alert, would operate statewide, rather than in individual counties, ideally improving communication in the event of a disaster.

People have to opt-in to most local emergency alert systems currently. But this one would allow notifications to be sent out to devices automatically, including social media, text message and landline calls.

The system is expected to be available to all counties in the state and should be up and running by this summer.

Lane County ALERT ME! Sign up to receive emergency alerts and severe weather warnings that could directly impact you and your family.

Lane County eAlert website for fires, earthquakes, and other emergencies: https://public.alertsense.com/SignUp/?regionid=1087

Lane County Community Wildfire Protection Plan

The Lane County Community Wildfire Protection Plan is a comprehensive wildfire education and mitigation plan for the whole of Lane County. The 165 page plan was originally developed in 2005 but has been updated, most recently in 2019-2020. It includes extensive maps  and analysis showing wildfire risk by region within the county and outlines 24 action items to help mitigate wildfire risk. It was developed in coordination with Oregon Department of Forestry, Lane County Emergency Management, Lane County Land Management Division, Lane County Fire Defense Board, Oregon State University Extension Service, Oregon State Fire Marshal, U.S. department of the Interior, and U.S. Forest Service. The information on wildfire risk and mitigation is for all of Lane County, urban as well as rural, but at present mitigation efforts are concentrated in the urban wildland interface and rural forested areas.

A PDF version of the LCCWPP is available here

An Ember Awareness Checklist Poster: The poster informs landowners of where embers often pose serious risk during wildfire events. The checklist provides actions homeowners can take to reduce this risk. To view and download a high resolution PDF version visit here.

Survivable Space Poster: This poster was made for Lane County and details survivable space guidance on how to harden your home prior to wildfire season as well as evacuation levels used to notify landowners of impending incidents. This poster is on page 140 of the LCCWPP plan.

The LCCWPP is one more tool residents should be aware of as we move into wildfire season. It is extensive and well researched. The detailed table of contents makes finding information easy.