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Posted on: June 30, 2020

June 30 City of Eugene Community Update – COVID-19

We provided our last community update a few weeks ago, 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 following Governor Kate Brown’s recent decision to extend the face covering requirement statewide beginning July 1.

While we’ve been in Phase 2 for several weeks, the number of active cases in our community continues to grow. Our teams continue to work closely with health experts at Lane County Public health and the Oregon Health Authority.

Face coverings mandatory statewide

Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, July 1, face coverings are required statewide in indoor spaces that are open to the public, including businesses. Governor Brown shared that the decision came, in part, because of the significant jump in COVID-19 cases both in urban and rural counties.

“The upcoming July 4th holiday weekend is a critical point for Oregon in this pandemic, and we can all make a difference,” said Governor Brown.

The face covering requirement extends to businesses, including:

  • Grocery stores
  • Fitness-related organizations
  • Pharmacies
  • Public transit agencies and providers
  • Restaurants, bars, breweries, brewpubs, wineries, tasting room and distilleries
  • Retail stores, shopping centers and malls
  • Ride sharing services

“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.

Eugene awarded $2.8 million in CARES Act funding

While the financial impacts of COVID-19 won’t be known for years, the City recently received funding to help offset some of the costs incurred since the start of the pandemic response. 

The State of Oregon sent Eugene $2.83 million in CARES Act CRF funding. This payment was reimbursement for eligible costs related to medical expenses, public health costs, payroll for employees dedicated to COVID-19, and expenses to facilitate compliance with COVID-19 measures from March 1 to May 15th. 

The state is expected to issue guidance later in July for a second round of reimbursements. 

New Microsite Collaboration As Designated Temporary Shelter Sites Phase Out  

The City is delighted to announce a second Microsite is expected to be active by the end of the week. Microsites support our community’s reopening by balancing the varying needs for safety and recovery for the unhoused community.  

The newest Microsite will be on land provided by the Eugene Mission at no cost and managed by Community Supported Shelters. The first Microsite was established at Skinner City Farm. 

City staff continue to seek additional sites, exploring both public and private property partnerships. We will provide updates about additional sites as information becomes available.  

As part of the City’s emergency response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the City worked with non-profit social service providers to establish Designated Temporary Shelter Sites to provide emergency shelter options to unhoused community members in three community center parking lots. These shelter sites gave people experiencing homelessness a safe and sanitary place to live, while reducing the need for the residents to move around the community. Watch a video highlighting the positive impact of the Designated Temporary Shelter Sites. 

New microsites will continue to provide needed shelter, stability and support for vulnerable members of our community and demonstrate the collaborative efforts underway to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness. 

Kesey Square “Food Hall” reopened

As part of the City’s reopening and recovery efforts, the Downtown Ambassadors have re-opened 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. to 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!

More resources

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: 

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