Surge of COVID cases among unhoused at Mission

Plus keeping an eye on rollout of vaccine, shooters of Muhsin Sharif named

69 COVID-19 cases reported at Mission

The Eugene Mission, a shelter for the unhoused, reported 69 new COVID-19 cases at it’s facilities this week, 68 guests and 1 employee. In light of this the shelter has enacted its emergency response plan: not accepting new guests and mandating current guests stay on campus for their safety benchmarks are met.

This outbreak was just a little over two weeks after the City of Eugene sweeped 100 campers at 1st and Washington, that included one person that was attempting to finish their quarantine. The CDC in its guidance on unsheltered homelessness says it is dangerous to clear encampments.

  • Clearing encampments can cause people to disperse throughout the community and break connections with service providers. This increases the potential for infectious disease spread

Eugene Mission only saw its first cases of COVID-19 at the beginning of this month.

Oregon received shipments of the first COVID-19 vaccines and administered doses this week, but questions remain about who is not prioritized in receiving them. Oregon is one of 11 states does not include incarcerated people in any of the planned vaccination phases. In a communication from the Oregon Health Authority released on Friday entitled “Oregon’s Phase 1a Vaccine Sequencing Plan” the agency said corrections staff will have access Phase 1a vaccine that is being rolled out now, but not incarcerated people.

Unhoused people are not currently listed in any of the phases of Oregon’s draft plan, they are implicitly called out in the critical population along with incarcerated people that the CDC defines. The Oregon Health Authority says it will be following the CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization and update their plans as needed.

County rules shooting of Sharif lawful

On Tuesday, of this week DA Patty Perlow released the findings of the Lane Inter-Agency Deadly Force Investigative Team, saying that the shooting of Muhsin Sharif was a “a lawful response”. Muhsin Sharif’s attorney, Brian Michaels, brings up in a statement to the press that the video they released shows the cops using a taser at the end to cause him to drop the knife, reasoning that they could have used a taser initially.

We also learned the names of the cops that shot Muhsin Sharif: Bo Rankin and Ryan Trullinger. Bo Rankin was named in a lawsuit earlier this year by CLDC for tackling and arresting their plaintiff for allegedly violating the curfew the city implemented on May 31, which they say was unconstitutional.

An anonymous writer on Reddit, noted how the video of the shooting also shows how Officer Rankin fails to put his vehicle in park leading the car to roll over Sharif.

Sharif’s family is still running a GoFundMe to cover his legal and medical expenses, including covering the $25,000 bond to cover his $250,000 bail.

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The week ahead