The heads of Eugene and Springfield gave messages online Thursday to recognize a full year of fighting COVID-19 and what it's meant for their communities.
One year into the pandemic, Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis said Thursday “this is an anniversary no one wanted to reach.” She led a moment of silence in honor of the 138 Lane County residents who have died from the virus.
Then she said, “While we have felt a significant loss, we also know our collective sacrifices have saved lives. And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Vinis stressed the importance of getting vaccinated and thanked Public Health, frontline workers and local businesses. She spoke during a press conference to recognize the one-year mark of the county’s first COVID-19 case. Since then, there have been 10,530 total cases of coronavirus in Lane County.
Springfield Mayor Sean VanGordon was also on the Facebook live conference. He gave a virtual high five to the young people of his city.
“Springfield students, frankly all Lane County students, showed us courage and resilience while adapting to online learning and having their everyday lives turned upside down,” he said.
In addition, VanGordon recognized the Springfield Public Library for its resourcefulness during the pandemic. Last year, they checked out 200,000 “curb side pickups.”
There were also kudos for small businesses. In the height of an economic catastrophe, VanGordon said business owners found ways to donate to local charities.