© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Eugeneans Tell City Leaders How The Pandemic Has Affected Them

Parastoo Maleki

City council members were presented today with the results of a Eugene-area survey on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected locals.

Over 600 households responded to the survey, which was sent in December.  Of those respondents, 98 percent said that they wore face masks to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Laura Hammond, spokesperson for the City of Eugene, said that shows Eugeneans really stepping up for their community.  But she added nearly half said they’re experiencing emotional distress due to the pandemic, and over a quarter said their financial situation has worsened since the outbreak.

“For many folks that kinda looked like reduced work hours, decreased sales, postponed projects and contracts, or even losing a job,” Hammond told KLCC.

“We know that our food service industry was heavily impacted, it was one of the areas that people reported losing the most jobs.”

One out of ten residents also reported trouble paying for rent, mortgage, utilities, and food. 

Among the pandemic’s other challenges for the City of Eugene, is making sure diverse communities are able to access health services and assistance.

The survey revealed that Spanish-speaking residents are affected more 

Credit Gayatri Malhotra / Unsplash

negatively. Of those 118 respondents, most said they were unable to work from home; one-fifth wanted mental health support but weren’t able to access it; and nearly one-third wanted unemployment assistance but weren’t able to due to barriers.

“So that’s important for us to know as we look ahead and keep planning for how we invest some of these recovery funds and how we design and implement the policies and programs that we’re going to be moving forward, to help our community recover,” said Hammond.

Latinos are also among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 due to health disparities and cultural and language barriers.

The Eugene City Council will use the surveyto gauge spending and program priorities as the pandemic continues through 2021.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
Related Content