EMMA ROUTLEY/THE CHRONICLE Jan Becker, 78, is fully vaccinated after her second dose at Creswell’s Health Mart on Thursday, March 18.

Local vaccination clinics have been distributing doses by the dozens, and now they can expect to see more new faces. With 70% of Lane County’s senior population fully vaccinated, individuals categorized in Group 6 now qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine and Lane County moves from “Moderate” risk into the “Low” risk category on Friday, March 26. 

Straight from Governor Brown’s office, a new “Low” risk title brings new updates: eating & drinking establishments can close at midnight and seat 50% occupancy for indoor dining with 8 people per table both indoors and outdoors. Indoor and outdoor entertainment establishments can also host 50% occupancy with a midnight closing time.  Indoor and outdoor recreation and fitness both allow 50% occupancy as well, but indoor full-contact sports are prohibited and outdoor full-contact sports are allowed.  Retail stores can allow up to 75% capacity, with curbside pickup encouraged.

“Counties who can demonstrate that they’ve vaccinated the majority of their senior population are able to then move onto that Group 6,” Lane County Public Health spokesperson Jason Davis said on Tuesday, March 23.

Group 6 includes individuals between 46-64 years old and those with pre-existing conditions predetermined by Oregon Health Authority. In an effort to make the vaccines more accessible, pre-registration for vaccinations has been eliminated.

Vaccination clinics have been scheduled in Creswell and Cottage Grove, with the Creswell Health Mart distributing 130 doses and McCoy’s Pharmacy in Cottage Grove 100 doses last week. Each Friday, McCoy’s plans to distribute around 100 doses from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m in Bohemia Park.

Lane County residents are jumping at the opportunity to receive the vaccination, according to local officials.

EMMA ROUTLEY/THE CHRONICLE Vaccination supplies crowd a table at Cottage Grove’s Bohemia Park this past Saturday.

Faye McGough received her first Moderna vaccination on March 19 at McCoy’s drive-thru, after what seemed like a never-ending search for an appointment.

“I called, wrote, begged, pleaded … wore out the telephone calling around for the vaccine,” McGough said. Her husband received both of his vaccines from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The day before, Creswell’s Health Mart was bustling with residents from all over Lane County rushing in to receive vaccinations after being redirected by another Health Mart on River Rd. in Eugene.

Amy Ellison, a veterinarian assistant in Springfield, was one of the residents redirected to Creswell. She had 30 minutes to drive to the Health Marton Oregon Ave. for her second dose or risk the wait to be vaccinated again. 

“At my (veterinarian) clinic, 11 of the employees were vaccinated in Benton County,” Ellison said. “The rest of ours were cancelled. I was on my lunch, and was given 30 minutes to get here or have it cancelled again.”

Davis said Lane County received 11,000 doses from the state this week, and he anticipates more doses in future shipments. There have been 51,788 individuals fully vaccinated, and 142,442 total doses administered, in Lane County.