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News Release
Lane County Public Health COVID-19 Update -- March 20 (11:00 a.m. virtual press conference) - 03/20/20



Lane County has two (2) positive COVID-19 test results and one suspected COVID-19 death (1) as of 0800 on March 20.


A total of 130 tests (including testing from private labs) have been ordered for Lane County residents (12 pending).




Lane County, the City of Springfield, the City of Eugene and Community Lending Works have come together to create a Small Business Emergency Loan Fund (SBELF) to help our local businesses weather this storm.


Lane County has committed $200,000. The City of Springfield has committed $100,000. The City of Eugene has provided an additional $100,000 to the SBELF, and has added flexibility to its existing loan program. This brings the SBELF to $400,000.


Eligible businesses include those with 20 FTE or fewer as of the end of 2019. Of the total funds, $120,000 will be reserved for businesses located outside of Eugene or Springfield. The funds will be managed by Community Lending Works and interested businesses will be able to apply starting at noon on Sunday, March 22, at


In case the Community Lending Works website becomes overloaded, businesses can email their inquiries to">


Small businesses may apply for loans up to $30,000 with no payments for the first six months. Community Lending Works will be able to provide approved loan funds quickly and within days of application.


Lane County Board of Commissioners Chair Heather Buch, Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis, Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg, and Lane County Economic Development Manager Austin Ramirez will be on-hand at the press conference to share more information about the program.


Please note: Starting on March 20, Lane County will hold virtual-only press conferences. The press conferences will livestream on Facebook at You can text your questions to 541-515-8833 during the press conference with your name and media outlet. A higher-quality video will be provided following the press conference.



We recommend all residents take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of many respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched.
  • Take care of your health overall. Staying current on your vaccinations (including the flu vaccine), eating well and exercising all help your body stay resilient.
  • Consult CDC’s travel website for any travel advisories and steps to protect yourself if you plan to travel outside of the US.

We further recommend all residents practice social distancing whenever possible:

  • Don't shake hands. Avoid unnecessary contact by not shaking hands, hugging or kissing as greetings. Find other, non-contact ways to say hello.
  • Leave space. Maintain a 6-foot radius between yourself and others in public spaces. (Droplets that may carry influenza and COVID-19 can commonly travel up to 6 feet.)
  • Think it through. People over 60 and those with pre-existing respiratory, cardiac conditions, or who are immuno-compromised should avoid all large gatherings.

Recommendations for residents who are 60+ or have pre-existing conditions:

Residents who are who are 60 or more years old, and residents who have pre-existing cardio or respiratory conditions, or are immune-compromised are urged be cautious about attending any event that brings groups of people together in a confined area.


Examples of pre-existing conditions include asthma, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


We encourage everyone to make use of technology (FaceTime, video calls, and other tools) to stay in touch with senior community members. Isolation can be unhealthy, especially for elderly community members who live alone. Staying in touch can help people remain connected to their loved ones and their communities.






March 20 at 11:00 a.m. at Text 541-515-8833 with your name, media outlet and questions during the press conference and they will be answered as part of the livestream.





Attached Media Files: PDF of Press Release
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