Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis reminded the community that though the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over, the city is starting to take next steps, on Wednesday morning via the City of Eugene Youtube channel. Vinis originally provided her remarks at the June 11 Lane County Public Health press conference.
Despite Lane County’s state of emergency remaining in place, the city of Eugene decided not to extend its administrative order for another two weeks, according to Vinis, allowing the order to expire.
“This is a decision we make not because the crisis is over,” Vinis said, “but because it’s time we move forward.”
Eugene will continue operating in Phase 2 for the coming months and “will not be able to fully open, without restrictions, until a vaccine has been distributed,” according to Vinis.
“We are all still at risk of spreading COVID-19,” Vinis said, “and need to continue practicing good personal hygiene and physical distancing. Please be considerate of others.”
Vinis looked back at March 17, the day Eugene City Council set in place City Manager Sarah Medary’s administrative order declaring a state of emergency. “That action allowed our city to take swift action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Vinis said.
After describing concerns of the pandemic, Vinis discussed Eugene Recreation’s successful summer program and camp registration, the planned reopenings of Amazon Pool and Sheldon Pool and the reopening of several Eugene Library functions.
Vinis assured that the city was still working on solutions for those experiencing homelessness. Working with its partners, including White Bird Clinic and Food for Lane County, the city put up multiple designated temporary housing shelter sites and formed outreach teams throughout the city, Vinis said.
“We can’t and won’t let this progress go to waste,” Vinis said. “We have learned valuable lessons during this pandemic. We will take what we learned from our response to learn and improve.”
The city of Eugene formed stronger bonds with partners and health experts in the community, such as Lane County Public Health, and will continue to utilize those relationships during recovery and in the event of a second surge of the virus, according to Vinis.
“These past few months have been trying for our community,” Vinis said, “but I’ve also been inspired and encouraged by the ways in which we’ve worked together to limit the spread of COVID-19 and help each other out.”
As of Wednesday, June 17, Lane County has had 89 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one presumptive case, as well as three deaths from suspected infection. Only seven cases are currently active.