Is that a second wave I see on the horizon?
Quick recap: Feds issue reopening guidelines that experts say are inadequate. States, like Oregon, issues guidelines for reopening that don’t meet federal standards. Counties don’t meet state guidelines but are allowed to open or stay open anyway. There’s something wrong with this picture.
Here’s the latest from The Oregonian:
The Oregon Health Authority disclosed an array of statistics Thursday showing many counties are already struggling to meet all public health benchmarks meant to protect residents from the coronavirus amid reopening efforts.
Half of Oregonâ€™s counties are failing to meet at least one of six metrics, which track growth in new infections, hospitalizations, the timeliness of contact tracing and the prevalence of unknown community spread of the virus, among other things.Half of Oregon counties facing coronavirus warning signs, state report shows, OregonLive.com, 21 May 2020.
Some of these are new indicators, but let’s not kid ourselves: Counties aren’t meeting the standards and the state doesn’t care. I do not understand a position where one says, “These are the benchmarks to reopen. You didn’t meet them or no longer meet them. But go ahead and reopen or stay reopened.”
Really, the only reason I can think of is so that the state can foist blame on the counties later. Something along the lines of “We set the standards, and they didn’t meet them, but they chose to stay open anyway.” I mean, I don’t know. That’s a cynical take, but I’m grasping at straws. Right now 18 counties are missing at least one benchmark. Previously, the state said that meant putting protections back in place. Now? I guess we’re going to just watch the second wave roll in.