EUGENE, Ore. -- Some Lane County residents expressed concern upon seeing the farmers market take place in Eugene this weekend, but officials say extra precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of the public.
“I was watching the newscast where people were standing right next to each other and it seems people have incredibly short memories and forget just how important it is we protect ourselves," said Kathleen Gage, a Lane County resident.
Kelly Crane, the executive director of the Oregon Farmers Market Association, said strict social distancing is being enforced at farmers markets across the state of Oregon.
“Each farmers market and each farmers market vendor booth have to appoint a social distancing officer who is in charge of ensuring that people who are in their spaces are actually complying with the social distancing requirements,” said Crane.
But Gage said those policies might not be enough to keep the public safe.
“I actually went grocery shopping yesterday and I was really pleased with the fact that they were keeping people a certain distance apart before they went into the store they were sanitizing the carts," said Gage.
But Brian Richardson with the City of Eugene said that big changes were made to keep the farmers market open, one of which including the size of where it operates downtown.
“Working with the farmers market to expand the footprint, it's no longer the way it was last year. It’s on a much larger footprint to allow more room," said Richardson.
Crane said for years they had worked to develop the social community aspect into farmers markets, but now their main focus is stripping that away and making sure people are only going to the market to get their essential goods.