Here's your daily roundup of all the local and national news about COVID-19. (Like our coverage? Please consider donating to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)
• According to the Oregon Health Authority, the state currently has 3,801 positive COVID-19 cases (that's 65 more since yesterday) and four additional deaths, for a total of 144.
• Clackamas and Washington counties are preparing to file applications to the governor's office to reopen, even though they currently do not meet the state's criteria. In a press conference this afternoon, Multnomah County leaders said they still aren't ready to set a reopening date—but they are moving closer to meeting their criteria goals. "I think we have a strong plan in place, and just need to time nail some of these components down," said Jennifer Vines, the county's public health officer.
Multnomah County says it's moving closer to meeting its reopening criteria—especially with planning for new outbreaks and reducing impact on BIPOC people—but it's still not setting a date for submitting reopening plans to the state.— Blair Stenvick (@BlairStenvick) May 20, 2020
• Coronavirus testing is really ramping up in Oregon, and if necessary up to 38,000 people could be tested according to the Oregon Health Authority.
• State forecasters say that things are looking bleak for the future of Oregon's economy, projecting that we can expect the steepest recession since the Great Depression. GULP.
There's another prediction in here: that OR's unemployment rate will rise to almost 23% this quarter https://t.co/Vk17MukyG2— Kate Davidson (@Kate_Davidson) May 20, 2020
• Starting today, people who ride public transportation in Portland will now have to wear face masks... and I guess this includes the busses as well? WHAT IS GOING ON?
• OH HERE'S SOMETHING INTERESTING: The Baker City judge who weirdly ruled in favor of the churches that are suing the governor to halt her stay at home order is Facebook friends with the pastor of one of the litigious churches. ISN'T THAT INTERESTING.
After 2 people with #COVID19 attended church gatherings in Arkansas in early March, 35 attendees acquired the disease. Follow CDC guidelines & consult with local public health officials when resuming in-person operations. Learn more from @CDCMMWR: https://t.co/UebsNldIRR. pic.twitter.com/ib4fRxUXJD— CDC (@CDCgov) May 19, 2020
• Related: After a few selfish Oregon businesses also filed an injunction to stop Gov. Brown from saving lives with her stay at home order, a federal judge told them to fuck the fuck off. (Obviously he did not use those exact words—but in my dreams? The sentiment was there.)
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• The good news: All 50 states are beginning to reopen. The bad news: WHAT THE HELL ARE SOME OF THESE STATES DOING?
• In a move that will surely infuriate Trump, the CDC has released COVID-19 reopening directions that the White House had shelved. It goes into a lot more detail about best practices, which will SAVE LIVES, and yet the president disapproves because he only loves himself while hating you.
he just wants to know how he’ll be able to cheat with it— Jenni Fir 🌲 (@JenniferKayMo) May 20, 2020
• Good vaccine news: Medical experts are feeling confident that a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready as soon as next year. And researchers announced that a prototype vaccine tested on monkeys could protect humans against the coronavirus. Expect Trump to be guzzling monkey blood by nightfall.
• A Florida scientist says she was fired from the state's department of health for refusing to doctor COVID case and death numbers that would have slowed down Florida's reopening plans.
• Get your tickets NOW for the hilarious (and sometimes poignant) Confinement Online Film Fest (CoFF) debuting this Friday. Grab those tickets and watch the trailer here!
• Need MORE laughs? Then don't miss the livestream I, Anonymous Show next Thursday, May 28 at 8 pm! Hilarious comedians, jaw-dropping rants and confessions... what more could you possibly need? (Don't say "love.")
• And finally... LOOK, HEAVY MACHINE OPERATOR. This guy just wants to get a tan. You're not making things easier!
Absolutely 100% can get behind this level of commitment to pettiness. pic.twitter.com/kCVneJYJsO— Elliot Eastwick (@Faycebuk) May 20, 2020