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COVID cases and hospitalizations soar in Oregon as CDC warns that Delta variant is transmissible by the vaccinated.
COVID cases and hospitalizations soar in Oregon as CDC warns that Delta variant is transmissible by the vaccinated. Mario Tama/Getty Images

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! The camera pans to a cocktail glass, behind a blind of plastic plants. You found the lady with the fat diamond ring, and you know I can't remember a damn thing. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• In hopes of avoiding the deaths that occurred during June's heatwave, the city, county, and state are leaping into action for today's extreme heat that could reach as high as 102 degrees. More cooling shelters are opening, along with extended public library hours, and heat alerts have been sent to thousands of phones across the area. Our Isabella Garcia has more details on the situation, as well as a helpful list of cooling centers and other ways to beat the oppressive heat!

• New COVID cases in Oregon have reached the old-timey numbers of over 1,000 new cases in a day, while hospitalizations also continue to soar. While the governor has been reticent to return to strict mandates, preferring to leave the bossing around to cities and counties, we're getting to the point where she may feel forced to do so.

• Mask up, kids! It was announced today that Oregon will require all students from kindergarten through 12th grade (including teachers and staff) wear masks during school starting in the fall. This overrides the previous decision to allow individual school districts to decide whether or not their kids would wear masks.

• Speaking of school stuff, Portland Public Schools is taking a bullish attitude toward ODOT, saying that if they go though with the controversial I-5 expansion in the Rose Quarter, they had better pay for the rebuilding of the $84 million Harriet Tubman Middle School.

• IN SPORTING NEWS: In a move that may make Dame Lillard happy (though I would never presume to speak for him, because he gets very annoyed when one does), the Blazers have picked up Texas Longhorns' Greg Brown in the second round of the 2021 NBA draft, who the experts say is one of the best "pure athletes" in his class.

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• IN FURTHER SPORTING NEWS: Hotshot Megan Rapinoe drilled the winning penalty kick in a nail-biting shootout with the Netherlands to advance the US Women's Team to the semifinals in the Tokyo Olympics.

• In a troubling internal CDC document, the agency is warning that the war against COVID-19 "has changed," and the Delta variant that's sweeping the nation is far more dangerous than previously thought and as transmissible as chicken pox—which is to say, the vaccinated can spread the virus just as easily as the unvaccinated. (Keep those masks handy, people. You'll need them.)

• President Biden issued tough new rules for federal employees who are vaccine hesitant, ordering every employee of the government (all four million) to get vaccinated or subject themselves to mandated masking, weekly testing, and social distancing.

• No word yet on the status of the national eviction moratorium, which, thanks to the Supreme Court, will end TOMORROW (Saturday). While Prez Biden has asked Congress to step in and extend the moratorium, millions across the country are fearing a knock on the door from their local sheriffs, telling them they've lost their homes.

• Accused sexual predator Harvey Weinstein got a lucky break in court yesterday when one of the 11 charges of sexual assault leveled against him was dismissed. Naturally, it was because of a technicality.

• In... SCIIIIIIIIENCE!:

Support The Portland Mercury

• Too hot for ya? Get ready for a cool July because the Mercury's SUMMER OF SLUSHIES is serving up $5 delicious, boozy frozen concoctions from your fave bars all damn month long! BUT HURRY! The "damn month" runs out this Sunday!

• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: As previously mentioned, it's getting HOT up in here with an expected high today of (gulp!) 102 degrees. Stay safe, and look out for your neighbors!

• And finally, YOU PEOPLE ARE SHEEP! (No, seriously. You're sheep.)