Community split on impact of mass gatherings on pandemic

“Medium-sized crowds are great but big crowds? No way,” Hugh Larkin said.

Posted: Jul 29, 2021 6:21 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2021 10:59 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- With the highly contagious Delta variant spreading across the state and the Oregon Health Authority putting a mask recommendation back in place, Oregonians are split on the impact of large gatherings as we fight to get to the end of the pandemic.

“Medium-sized crowds are great but big crowds? No way,” Hugh Larkin, a Eugene resident, said.

The Lane County Fair was one of the largest gatherings since the pandemic started. Even though Lane Events staff say they took all of the right steps to keep everyone safe, the spread of the Delta variant is a concern for many. And for many, the role mass gatherings play in spreading the virus worsens that concern.

Some said they believe the gatherings are fine, but there should be some sort of restrictions put in place.

“I feel like mass gatherings should still have masks because we're still in the middle of a pandemic,” Amberleigh Wolfe, a Eugene resident, said.

For others, it’s not a concern at all.

“I've been vaccinated. I do feel safe," Eli Limon, a Eugene resident, said.

Regardless, many people say they're ready to do whatever it takes to reach the end of the pandemic.

"I think precautions are good. I got my mask," Larkin said.

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