Serving Springfield, Creswell, Cottage Grove and Pleasant Hill with hyper-local news and information.



FreeCOVID-19 Sep. 9
Lane County schools reopen; ICU beds near full
Covid hospitalizations reached record highs last week before receding slightly, but those numbers remain alarmingly high for hospitals, according to Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state epidemiologist.
Free Sep. 7
Just the FAQs: Cottage Grove physician answers Covid, vaccination questions
FreeCOVID-19 Aug. 4
Covid surges for unvaxxed: PeaceHealth restricting visitors, sets mandates
FreeCommunity May. 27
County closing in on ‘low risk’
Vaccinated residents will soon have access to mask-free areas indoors and other benefits in counties designated as “low risk,” according to public health officials.
FreeNews Apr. 28
Lane is one of 15 counties moving to Extreme Risk on Friday, April 30, where it will stay until at least May 6, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday. The level change means that indoor dining is prohibited, though outdoor capacity limits for bars, restaurants and other sectors will be raised from 50 to 100 people, with health-and-safety measures in place.
FreeNews Apr. 14
Officials wary of increases; J&J on pause
While the upward trajectory of COVID-19 cases appears to have plateaued for the time being, case numbers are still far higher in the county than public health officials would like to see, said Jason Davis, spokesperson for Lane County Public Health, at Tuesday’s press conference. The county on Tuesday reported 40 new cases in 24 hours. In the past week, three new cases have been confirmed in Creswell; six in Cottage Grove; 84 in Springfield; and six in Pleasant Hill.
FreeNews Apr. 7
Officials still urge caution on COVID-19
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.
FreeNews Mar. 24
VAX SCENE: Residents drive in, line up for shots
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.
FreeNews Mar. 17
From food to fun, activity increasing across the Valley
After a long freeze, recreation centers are dipping a toe back into the water. Lane County last week reduced its COVID-19 risk category to “moderate,” allowing half-capacity at recreation sites. Joshua Norton, pool manager at Warren H. Daugherty Aquatic Center in Cottage Grove, said the best thing about reopening the pool is “having life in the facility again.”
FreeNews Feb. 24
No longer ‘extreme’
Lane County will move to the “high risk” category on Friday, Feb. 26, dropping from the “extreme risk” level thanks to improvements in COVID-19 case counts. The result of the new classification could provide local businesses – including restaurants – some relief with limited indoor dining again.
FreeOregon High School Sports Feb. 18
Oregon cancels state tournaments for ‘Season 2’ sports
Football, girls volleyball, and boys and girls soccer won't have state champions in 2021. Schools evaluating how to best use the extra week for their teams.
FreeNews Feb. 17
Senior-dose allotment expected to spike soon
Inching toward progress, health officials this week are dishing out vaccine doses to the 75-and-over individuals, while school officials continue bringing students back, vaccinating their staff and working to avoid any potential liabilities. Each week, more and more people become eligible for the vaccine, with those over 75 next in line. About 2,400 doses are allotted for this group this week, said Jason Davis, spokesperson for Lane County Public Health at Tuesday’s news briefing.
Community Feb. 12
Sewing a second round of masks: We’re not done yet
COTTAGE GROVE – I need to make more masks for my husband, but I really don’t want to. It’s not that I don’t enjoy making masks. I love sewing, and one of my favorite things is digging into my fabric scraps and finding fun patterns to use. I’m reluctant to make more masks because it means acknowledging an unfortunate truth: we’re not yet done masking and social distancing.
FreeNews Feb. 10
Owners hoping vaccine boosts business
Lane County Public Health aims to vaccinate 5,500 residents over the age of 80 by the end of this weekend. The county “leveraged some existing doses and came up with 5,500 doses that public health can get into the arms of our 80-plus folks as soon as possible,” Jason Davis, county spokesperson said during a press conference on Tuesday. In addition, LCPH this week will receive 3,200 total vaccine doses, with 2,000 designated to the 80-plus population; 770 to public school educators and staff; 30 to private school educators and staff; and 400 for medical staff and skilled care residents and staff.
FreeChronicle1909 Exclusive Feb. 4
Lane County: Vaccine pre-registration now open
Lane County Public Health has opened up pre-registration for vaccination to all members of the public.
FreeCommunity Feb. 4
Educators, parents and teachers take another ‘back-to-school’ shot
Area school districts are taking slightly different approaches based on their needs as Lane County revisits “Back to School” experiences. “What keeps me up at night is how I am going to get kids back in school,” Creswell schools superintendent Mike Johnson said. South Lane School District superintendent Dr. Yvonne Curtis said everything is being done with “safety in mind.” She announced that hybrid teaching and learning will be delayed until March 1.
FreeNews Feb. 3
Schools hold ‘mass vax’ events; more doses needed
At the very least, the slow trickle of coronavirus vaccines has given school districts time to get their ducks in a row. With only a few days’ notice, Springfield, South Lane and Creswell school districts executed their first staff mass vaccine events last weekend with efficiency and minimal stress, health officials said.
FreeCommunity Feb. 3
Parenting through Covid: Going from remote learning to school classrooms
This week Dear Bernard’s guest columnist, Nasim Talebreza-May, looks how this school year has changed our ideas of school and parenting. While many schools were on Winter Holiday, Oregon’s Governor made a surprising announcement that she was relaxing the requirements around school closures due to the mental health and academic concerns facing children now “outweigh the short-term risk.” Although this statement did not result in the immediate opening of schools, it does draw attention to the stress that children and parents have been facing as they navigate the new realm of parent/teacher, child/student. Many parents feel isolated in this new role and overwhelmed on the demands for their time.
Springfield restaurant fined for defying public health order
A Springfield restaurant was fined over $9,000 for defying the state-mandated protocols around the coronavirus.
FreeNews Jan. 27
Lane County public health officials seeking more vaccines as trends suggest a rough spring.
Suds up, mask up, and stay put because the next 100 days are projected to be “relative misery” according to local public health officials. “We are really on the steep part of the curve right now,” said Dr. Patrick Luedtke, the county’s senior public health officer. He projected at the Jan. 21 Springfield City Club meeting that up to 120,000 people in the county will be infected before the numbers begin to drop in April.
FreeNews Jan. 27
Mutated virus rears ugly head in state
A more contagious mutation of the coronavirus that rapidly swept through the United Kingdom has made its way to Oregon – one case each in Yamhill and Multnomah counties – but none in Lane County, public health officials stated.