COVID Exit Strategy (www.covidexitstrategy.org), a non-partisan group of public health and crisis experts, has been tracking the progress states have made towards meeting the CDC recommended benchmarks states should reach before reopening their economies. As of June 28th, only three states were meeting these metrics, earning a “Green” rating. Currently, Oregon is failing half of the benchmarks, and is rated “Red.”
The CDC benchmarks include: (1) a falling rate of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) reported in the state; (2) a falling rate of new confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19); (3) a falling rate of positive results for COVID-19 diagnostic tests; and (4) sufficient inpatient and intensive care capacity to accomodate a 20% surge in COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization. Oregon has seen rising numbers of confirmed COVID-19 infections and rising test positivity. ILI numbers have fallen slightly over the last two weeks, and remain below the state goal of 1.5% of all hospitalizations.
Oregon is currently failing 2 out of 4 the CDC benchmarks that OSPIRG has been tracking, indicating that COVID-19 has been spreading in the community without effective containment. OSPIRG recommends that the state maintain all current restrictions related to COVID-19, and take additional measures to improve containment. These measures could include: a statewide face-covering mandate for public indoor spaces, prohibiting indoor seating at restaurants and bars, and closing all non-essential businesses in current COVID-19 hot-spots if current trends continue.