Residents react to COVID-19 precautions months after lockdown

PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV/CNN) — More than six months into this pandemic, Oregonians have differing views on how to handle it.

State health officials wanted to get an idea of what people are thinking and doing at this point, so they worked with two research groups. One surveyed about 1,000 Oregonians. The other focused on about 500 members of Oregon’s Latinx community.

They found four in ten Oregonians are very worried about the COVID-19 situation in Oregon. Half as many are worried about getting sick themselves while most in the Latinx community are worried about both the pandemic and getting sick.

The survey showed about half of Oregonians went to four or more social gatherings in a two-week span. Some went to a social gathering nearly every day.

Oregon’s Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Tom Jeanne said, “It only takes a few people who are not doing the right things to feed some new illness and spread COVID-19.”

Leslie Shields is taking that warning seriously. She’s already planning for the holidays including making Thanksgiving dinner to-go for her family members to pick up and take to their own homes so they can all eat together virtually.

“We haven’t had any events or dinners in this house once,” Shields said. “It gives me goosebumps to think about not being careful. It’s stupid.”

Amy Manzella said she’s not worried about the virus because, she said, her family and friends are all healthy. She explained, “Of course, we wear masks when we go into places and stuff. But we’ve seen our family through the whole time we’ve seen our friends. We’ve had them over to our houses. We’ve had dinners together. We’ve been over to their homes.”

Health officials said social gatherings contribute to rising case numbers and the virus will continue to spread if people don’t take precautions.

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