No Phase 2 for you
The three Oregon counties in the Portland metro area aren't going to be advancing to "Phase 2" of their "reopening" this week, or any time soon, apparently. The reasons are pretty clear: The crud is still here, the numbers of new cases in all three counties are moving in the wrong direction, and even if you take increased testing into account, the percentage of tests that come back positive is rising at a brisk rate.
The adverse news affects not just Portland proper, but the entire Oregon portion of the metropolitan area. The state has linked Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas Counties together from here on out for purposes of the "phases." Some folks in Washington County squawked about that last week, but they had a lot of nerve complaining, as their case number trends are the bleakest of the three.
And so officially, all of Greater Portlandia stays restricted.
Unofficially, however, some people aren't taking this very seriously any more. People in their 20's seem to be the most likely to fall back into their accustomed social ways, and not surprisingly, their case numbers are rising the fastest.
Anyway, for my fellow statistics nerds out there, here are my latest charts on new case numbers per day in the three counties. As a point of reference, Clackamas County went into "Phase 1" on May 23; Washington County on June 1; and Multnomah County on June 19. The orange line is the 10-day trend of new cases:
And to respond to your MAGA Uncle Mike, who says it's all because of more testing, here are the statewide rates of positive tests, which jumped over the 5 percent mark last week (click on the chart for a bigger version):
I think the bottom line for Portlanders here is pretty obvious: Be nice to those delivery people, because you'll likely be relying on them for quite a while longer.
A final caveat: The state changed the way it reports new cases over the weekend of June 27. Their explanation of the change left some open questions in my mind, and when I asked them about it by telephone and email, I didn't get an answer. And so, as with so much we read these days, take the county new-case numbers with at least a pinch of salt.
(Photo: Zachary Keimig)