EUGENE, Ore. – The Lane County Board of Commissioners considered five options during a meeting Tuesday aimed at stemming surging coronavirus cases in the county.
The options are a direct response to record case numbers set in the past few days that public health officials have said could warrant increased restrictions, including a return to Phase I.
“In addition to flattening the curve to preserve critical hospital and other health care resources, this is a critical time to contain the spread before the weather becomes challenging for outdoor activities and more people shift to staying indoors where transmission is more likely,” county staff wrote in a meeting agenda.
The actions under consideration range from increasing education about COVID-19 precautions (masks, social distancing, etc.) all the way to more direct action, including requesting a change to Phase I restrictions or to be placed on Gov. Kate Brown’s watch list.
“Folks need to pay attention and we need to keep getting that message out and all of us board members need to continue to echo that message in the community and hopefully we’ll get this little surge of cases under control," said Commissioner Jay Bozievich.
Most commissioners appeared to agree with staff recommendations to use the less drastic options, including continuing to monitor the spread of the virus and increasing efforts to encourage people to wear masks, limit gatherings and social distance in addition to working more closely with specific organizations like schools, businesses and churches.
Importantly, this option would help buy time to see if people are changing their behavior in light of growing concern over rising case numbers.
“Given the incubation period of the virus, we know that even if behavior change started last week, the change in numbers won’t be noted for at least that two week period,” staff wrote.
Tuesday’s discussion over additional actions was informational only, and no vote took place.