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.