Lane County, Eugene, Springfield give update on coronavirus plans

30 people have gone through monitoring in Lane County to date, with five more tests pending.

Posted: Mar 13, 2020 6:19 PM
Updated: May 3, 2021 1:18 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- There are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Lane County, officials confirmed Friday during a meeting to discuss what the county and cities of Eugene and Springfield are doing to prepare.

According to health officials, 30 people have gone through monitoring in Lane County to date, with five more tests pending. Officials said that test availability has been increasing, but there is still progress to make.

"I'm comforted that it is increasing. I'm also very comforted that large laboratories that do this work every day in the thousands of tests are ramping up. We are not where I'd like to be. I would like to have more data," said Lane County public health officer Dr. Patrick Luedtke.

Officials said two private-sector labs in the area are now doing their own testing and reported 24 tests to officials just yesterday.

According to Luedtke, because there is no known circulation of the virus in Lane County, people with respiratory symptoms are likely experiencing influenza or a strain of the common cold. People with symptoms should stay home and limit close contact with loved ones. If you have symptoms and need to see your health care provider, call ahead to make arrangements.

The city of Eugene is opening their emergency operation centers in order to keep essential services running. Officials said their priority now is amplifying the messages being sent by public health agencies.

Springfield said they do have emergency plans and are working with local partners.

"This includes reducing the level of anxiety some might be experiencing by encouraging the community to be informed," said Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis.

Vinis pointed to city-wide prevention measures such as increased cleaning in public buildings and the cancellation of events at the city's libraries, recreation centers and the Hult Center. 

Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg emphasized efforts to gather resources for local businesses that may eventually lose customers.

"We are also thinking externally to the impact on our area's businesses. We know there will be impacts and are considering those impacts in how we plan," she said.

All public meetings in Eugene have been suspended. Lane County and Springfield are planning to hold public meetings with increased precautions and are encouraging public comment online.

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