Portland in the Summer of Covid

As I start weaning myself off covering the spectacle that is The Portland Protests, I can't get to much else without first interacting with the other 800-pound gorilla in the room.

Covid, Covid, Covid. You have taken lives, you have wrecked lives. How fragile we are.

In our part of the world, which has done relatively well compared to most of the country, infection seems to have plateaued for the summer.

In the tri-county area including Portland, new cases being reported daily are about where they were three weeks ago. It's not clear how much of that is due to the level of testing, but the 10-day rolling averages look like this:

Even taking population into account, Clackamas County is doing better than the other two, and Washington County is doing better than Multnomah. For example, as of today the rolling average new case numbers work out to 8.5 residents per 100,000 in Multnomah; 7.1 residents per 100,000 in Washington; and 4.7 residents per 100,000 in Clackamas.

One distressing figure about testing showed up yesterday in the data supplied by the Oregon Health Authority. Last week, the percentage of tests in Oregon that came back positive was greater than 6 percent. That's as bad as it's been since March. (Click or tap on the table to be able to blow it up.)

As I understand it, infectious disease experts say that before reopening businesses and schools, the average daily infection rate among those who are tested should not exceed 5 percent. And so Oregonians should not be pushing any envelopes at this point.

I have also been watching hospitalizations and intensive care patients statewide. Plateaus appear there, too.

And finally, the official death toll in Oregon from Covid is 338. Of those, 49 fatalities were reported in the last 10 days. That rate, about five deaths a day, has been consistent for about the last 10 days or so. A month ago, it was 1.3 deaths a day.

Keep your guards up, people.


  1. Remember when all this started and there was applause every night at 7 for the healthcare workers risking their lives on the front lines of this pandemic? They're still there but unfortunately the healthcare corporations are now seemingly screwing them over. Providence Hospital is part of a big conglomerate with its own say over workman's comp claims and a shocking number of nurses, etc... who get the virus have their claims denied because they can't prove they got it while at work. Isn't that outrageous? Of all the groups we'd want to screw over, it's unimaginable that we settled on the people who rushed in - often without the right safety gear - and took care of these incredibly sick and contagious patients. And now the system wants to cut these workers loose? These are the best people we have. These are equivalent to the first responders on 9/11. If we can't do right by them, we deserve whatever happens to us.
    From the Willamette Week: "In Oregon, Providence has denied a far higher percentage of workers' comp claims since COVID erupted than any other employer or insurer, including SAIF, the state-owned insurer that dominates the market. Indeed, state data shows that most workers' compensation claims filed for COVID-19 are approved. As of July 10, workers' comp insurers had approved 74% of the 557 claims filed. Providence was the outlier, according to the state statistics, rejecting 41 of 44 claims at that time, denying 93 percent. (SAIF's denial rate was 13 percent.)" Like I was saying: Outrageous.


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