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Lebanon mother calls for apartment management to recommend masks

West said she just hopes to start a conversation to hopefully fuel understanding for families that are in situations similar to hers.

Posted: Jul 8, 2020 7:03 PM
Updated: Jul 8, 2020 7:05 PM

LEBANON, Ore. -- A woman who has kept her family quarantined since March 1 is speaking out with concerns that her apartment building is not healthy.

While management is following OHA guidelines, Liana West says masks are not required in public spaces in the building, which she said is poorly ventilated. West told KEZI 9 News she has been trying to bring awareness for the sake of families in similar situations.

She lives with her four children in Lebanon. One of her sons underwent open heart surgery years ago and has been immuno-compromised ever since. Two of her other children have asthma so bad they have been hospitalized for it before.

"I pulled my children out of school a little early and everybody thought I was a little crazy for that and, 'Oh you're too worried for that,' and I was like, 'No, I don't think so. I think there's something coming and I think we need to be really cautious.'"

Now after staying at her apartment for more than four months, she still feels as though she made the right decision.

But after learning about how coronavirus behaves indoors, she doesn't feel her apartment building is doing all they should.

"In areas where you can't social distance -- where it's physically impossible to do so -- we really should be promoting that people really be wearing masks in common areas where people are walking," she said.

She said when she asked if her building's management would even hang signs suggesting people wore masks in common areas, they said no. 

So she started reaching out to as many government agencies as she could -- the Department of Environmental Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon Health Authority, Linn County Public Health, even senators. 

Ron Wyden's office is one of only a couple that have actually spoken with her and heard her out, she said.

A spokesperson with Wyden's office said they've been speaking with her since May about her concerns regarding air inside her building and that her concerns should be taken seriously.

Just this week Portland based doctor Richard Corsi, along with more than 200 scientists from 32 countries, called out the WHO, accusing them of neglecting to acknowledge how easily this virus is transmitted in the air.

Corsi said when an indoor space is not well ventilated, droplets can accumulate. West said it's the lack of ventilation that concerns her.

"Our building is enclosed," she said. "It's an enclosed building and each hallway is locked down on each end with a door so you've got an enclosed space inside an enclosed building."

She said when she asked where the air in the building comes from, management said outside, but it's then recycled through the second and third floors.

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