EUGENE, Ore. -- As Lane County's surge in COVID-19 continues, University of Oregon students say they're not seeing parties advertised but they know they're happening and they believe they're fueling the spread around campus.
"They've been partying since the beginning pretty much," said Cody Cade, who works at a convenience store near campus. "There's several people that will buy several cases of beer I don't think that are for casual drinking, but probably more for a party. That's just what I assume, especially when they're with three or four of their buddies and they're all buying cases of beer."
Eugene Police said back in March, the governer's office said they expected strict enforcement of the face mask requirement but now, they're asking for a more education-based approach saying no citations are expected.
Below is an excerpt from Gov. Order 20-07:
Non-compliant civilian gatherings-law enforcement expectation: No criminal citations expected; full law enforcement discretion; focus on opportunity to educate.
A spokesperson for Eugene police said they'll have party patrols out and about Thursday through Saturday nights for the next few weeks. The goal is to educate off-campus partygoers.
Students said they feel the university is doing their part to protect them, but once you leave campus, there's not much more the university can do.
According to Lane County Public Health, people age 17 to 28 are putting up the highest COVID-19 numbers, but they did say it is not about age groups, it's about behavior and that's something everyone can change for the better.