Public health officials are seeing a “drastic increase” in COVID-19 cases, and encourage the community to help reverse the trend to avoid moving back into the risk category. 

This week, case numbers would place Lane County in the “moderate” category; however, Gov. Kate Brown issued a two-week grace period before the category may be reversed, as the county just moved into “low risk” on March 25.

“We will be using that grace period as we do our very best to reverse these trends,” said Jason Davis, spokesperson for Lane County Public Health. There are three situations county officials are tracing back cases to: multi-family gatherings, parties, and workplace transmission.

One outbreak traced back to an indoor party with two households and four people. Unbeknownst to them, everyone was Covid-positive. They invited 12 more people over. All but two people were infected, and two people were hospitalized. No one socially distanced or wore masks at the event, Davis said.

“These are pretty dire consequences for that gathering and something we need to carry with us,” Davis said. In spite of the warm weather and the itch to host BBQs and events, health officials discourage social gatherings. If they do happen, Davis suggests parties stay outdoors, and that everyone continues to socially distance and wear masks – even if vaccinated.

County mass vax sites include Lane Community College, Autzen Stadium and Lane Events Center, and on April 12 there will be a 1,000-dose clinic at the Cottage Grove Elks Lodge from noon-8 p.m.