EUGENE, Ore.-- Construction on Lane County's Respite and Recovery Center on River Avenue in Eugene is off to a quick start, according to county officials.
In a Wednesday morning press conference, county administration management analyst Jeff Kincaid said cooperation between the County, Oregon Health Authority, FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers has led to efficiency throughout the entire process.
Lane County purchased the $1.8 million property on April 17, and by April 21, light demolition had already begun in what was formerly a vacant VA clinic.
According to Kincaid, the facility's biggest needs include HVAC repair and replacement, the addition of restrooms and showers to the east end of the building and the removal of carpeting.
Public officials said that the center is a prong in their long-term coronavirus strategy, preparing for a possible surge in the illness later in the year. Another important prong is increased testing, which officials said is still on the way.
This comes after an email from the White House revealed that Oregon is one of four states able to test fewer that 30 in 1,000 people per month.
According to spokesperson Jason Davis, testing across the state has indeed been low, but with more and more testing options coming online, public health officials will soon be better equipped.
"We want to have testing available to as many people as possible. That helps us not only track and identify the illness but also help encourage people to follow the reccommendations we are making with the knowledge of their own health status," he said.