Portland is 6,142 miles from Hubei, China, the epicenter of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak that has left over 1,000 dead. But China's gross domestic product ranks second globally, and Oregon's economy is particularly linked to the Chinese market.
Josh Lehner, an Oregon state economist, says the impact of coronavirus may only amount to a blip in the long term, but there will still be short-term effects, especially on Oregon's exports.
The closure of Chinese factories to which Oregon companies export goods, coupled with Chinese employees staying home from work due to illness, could exacerbate effects on Oregon's economy, Lehner says.
"It's really going to muck up these global supply chains," Lehner tells WW. "We're going to have fewer exports [to China], because we're not going to ship stuff over there to an empty warehouse."
It's hard to put a precise monetary figure on that impact—especially since no one can predict how widely the outbreak will spread. Here's how the outbreak is already making an appearance in Oregon's economy and sparking local health officials to take action.
No. 1: China's ranking in terms of countries to which Oregon exports goods.
$7.2 billion: The amount of goods exported from Oregon to China in 2019.
65: The percentage of Oregon's exports to China that are categorized as high tech, i.e., produced by technology companies like Intel and Xerox.
14: The number of days Intel workers must wait before returning to work if they recently visited mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau.
50: The percentage of Nike-owned stores shut down in China due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Nike declined to comment on the exact number of closed stores.)
10: Number of Chinese vendors who dropped out of this week's Northwest Materials Show, held at the Oregon Convention Center, due to concerns about coronavirus.
75: Calls in 2020 to Multnomah County's Communicable Diseases Services from people worried about coronavirus. (That's in contrast to the flu, which has actually hit Oregon but elicited only nine phone calls.)
19: Number of county employees on the core virus responses team preparing for a potential coronavirus case in Oregon.
19: Hospitals in the Portland metro region engaged in regional preparation and response in the instance of a coronavirus case.