Lane County in talks with Gov. Brown about fast-tracking move to lower risk

Davis could not confirm whether or not the county has hit that goal yet but said it is very likely after hundreds of people received shots at Autzen Stadium over the weekend.

Posted: Jun 7, 2021 1:53 PM
Updated: Jun 7, 2021 8:17 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Lane County could move into the lower risk category as soon as tomorrow, according to Lane County Public Health's spokesperson Jason Davis.

LCPH has been working with Gov. Kate Brown's office in an attempt to fast-track the downgrade. 

"The governor's office has been really receptive to that and we'll just see how all of this plays out with the numbers," Davis said.

Typically, the governor's office evaluates counties' risk levels on Tuesday and changes are made the following Friday.

However, if the governor's office agrees, Lane County could move down in risk level as soon as the Oregon Health Authority confirms the county reached the goal of giving first shots to more than 65% percent of residents 16 and older. That would mean large, outdoor events, like the upcoming NCAA track and field championship, would be able to increase capacity from 25% to 50%.

"We have some pretty big things happening this week that we've asked for exceptions on, including the NCAA track meet as well as a few other different things," Davis said.

Many Lane County residents said they're looking forward to moving into the lower risk category for what health officials expect to be the final time.

"I think it might hopefully stop the fear that people are having," said Dori Brand. "I mean, some people are too scared to go to work right now."

Others are looking forward to supporting local businesses.

"I see a lot of businesses closing that I've been a patron of and I want to see those back up and running," Loni Steddman said.

But some residents still have some concerns because young children aren't yet eligible to be vaccinated.

"I have a little one on the way and not knowing the science behind how that might affect infants -- I'm vaccinated, but that doesn't mean that the infant's vaccinated," Anne Esterberg said.

Davis could not confirm whether or not the county has hit the 65% goal yet but said it is very likely after hundreds of people received shots at Autzen Stadium over the weekend.

In a previous interview, Davis said the county has already submitted the required vaccine equity plan to the Oregon Health Authority.

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