When Lane County Public Health reports that a person has tested positive for COVID-19, the agency has either said the person lives in Eugene-Springfield or simply that the case is “outside” Eugene-Springfield and thus, most likely, a rural area.
The problem is that Lane County covers a lot of land from the mountains to the coast and has more rural areas than the metro area — a lot more. Now the Oregon Health Authority has released a breakdown by zip code, which allows rural zip codes to find out whether there has been a case in their area. The caveat with this list, though, is that OHA offers a range (one to nine) if there have been fewer than 10 cases.
Eugene Weekly looked at the zip codes and found that although most cases have been in the Eugene-Springfield area, there have been COVID-19 positives in a few rural zip codes. There have been positive cases in the Cottage Grove area (97424), Creswell (97426), Walterville (97478), Veneta (97487) and Coburg (97408). OHA did not disclose information for zip codes with fewer than 1,000 residents.
The OHA report comes a month after Siuslaw News reported on Lane County’s lack of specificity of rural residents’ locations who test positive. County spokesperson Jason Davis told the Florence-based newspaper that Lane County Public Health doesn’t disclose that information to protect patient privacy and safety.
Here’s the link to OHA’s report.