LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- The community is responding to news that Lane County has been added to Gov. Kate Brown's watch list.
The annoucement came on Friday and after the county surpassed 2,000 total cases since the start of the pandemic. Gov. Brown said the surge in Lane County is connected, in part, to social gathering of students.
University of Oregon student Eugene Facer said that everyone needs to understand how dangerous the virus really is.
“I think (students) just got really tired of social distancing and not going to parties and things like that,” Facer said. “They just think that if they're not going to die of coronavirus then they'll be fine and they’re willing to take that chance. We just have to stay vigilant and remember that a lot of people are at risk.”
One student said he feels that students are doing well at following the rules.
“I keep my distance, have my mask on, wash my hands and use sanitizer,” UO student Zane Baki said. “I just think following the protocols for keeping a safe distance and keeping yourself sanitized and clean should help.”
Local businesses are also weighing in with their thoughts on Governor Brown's announcement.
Ciao Pizza in Springfield said they are taking every measure to keep customers and staff safe. Owner Dave Lucht said that backtracking or having to shut down indoor dining completely would be “quite difficult.”
“It would definitely be hard on all of us,” Lucht said. “If it comes, I think we’ll probably survive. We’ll live off of our takeout. I would be more concerned for what would happen to my employees, because I wouldn't be able to retain everyone at that point.”
Lucht said their business model has shifted over the months, as he has partnered with five different third-party delivery companies.
“Our cooks would be safe,” Lucht said. “If the dining room is closed and we are only allowed to do takeout, obviously there would be very few hours for servers.”
Currently, Ciao Pizza is working with half of their seating capacity. Lucht said that 75 percent of their sales are from to-go orders, a major increase from the 20% the restaurant saw at this time last year.
Counties remain on the watch list for a minimum of three weeks and until their sporadic case count drops below 50 per 100,000 or 5 cases or fewer in the previous two weeks.
The current watch list now includes Benton, Clatsop, Lane, Malheur and Umatilla counties.