PORTLAND, Ore. — The weeks Oregonians spent avoiding the outdoors because of wildfires and smoke gave America some insight into what cooler days may bring to a pandemic-ravaged nation as fall arrives this week.
A report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned that the wildfires that have been raging in California, Oregon and Washington have been “complicating the response” to covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Evacuations and government recommendations to stay indoors have slowed testing in many communities. People encouraged to stay indoors to avoid caustic air have faced another danger: interacting with other people, providing more avenues for the virus to spread.
As a result, the agency said, the rate of positive coronavirus tests in Oregon rose sharply to 5.6 percent last week, the highest since July and the first upward movement after six weeks of declines.