Metro area nears 10% COVID positivity; holiday info next week

Coronavirus

Wear a mask, maintain social distance, wash your hands

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Data the Oregon Health Authority gathered through electronic laboratory reporting shows Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties all spiked during November, pushing the danger zone to nearly 10% positivity — twice as high as the mark set for where businesses can reopen.

The tri-county metro and dozens of other counties are nowhere near a 5% positivity rate for COVID-19. Oregon’s Risk Level metric is based on two criteria: the rate of disease in the county and the percent of people who test positive for the virus.

(Info: Oregon Health Authority)

It’s unclear what will happen in December. The red line on the graph below shows what could happen if the rate of transmission continues as it has. The blue line indicates a projection of possibly flattening the curve if the closures and harsh restrictions work.

A graph released by the Oregon Health Authority shows the trajectory of COVID-19 in Oregon, November 13, 2020

Millions of people ignored the pleas of health officials not to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. Due to the delay in the onset of symptoms, officials won’t know until the middle of next week about any potential impact all that close travel did.

Health officials are seeing people taking serious precautions in public — wearing a mask inside and outside in public spaces, standing on the social distance stickers at the supermarkets and hand sanitizing.

But that seems to fly out the window in private. And that’s where the spread is being seen. While authorities can close bars, restaurants, gyms and other businesses, they can’t enforce any social distance measures in private places.

But OHA officials said they have to do whatever they can to slow the spread and reduce interactions between people. And they continue to say that if you want to help your county re-open, follow these simple guidelines:

  • limit social gatherings
  • minimize exposure to people outside household
  • use curbside pickup
  • follow isolation guidelines
  • quarantine
  • wear masks, physical distance, wash hands

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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