OHSU coronavirus (COVID-19) response

Health Care , Community , Coronavirus (COVID-19)
OHSU Emergency
OHSU Emergency
Aerial OHSU Marquam Hill

As of Tuesday, Oct. 20

As the state's academic health center, Oregon Health & Science University is participating with state and local public health authorities and health systems across the metro area to coordinate a regional response. The goal remains to contain the spread of the virus, known as SARS-CoV-2.

In contrast to what we know about influenza, we do not yet know the severity of this new coronavirus nor do we have a vaccine or effective antiviral medications in hand. Therefore, OHSU activated an emergency operations center that has adapted response plans already in place from previous pandemic influenza outbreaks.

OHSU is prepared to treat an expected surge of patients with COVID-19, while working proactively to contain the spread of the virus and protect our workforce.

Mobile, drive-through testing sites

As Oregon’s academic health center, OHSU is committed to ensuring all Oregonians have access to COVID-19 testing and appropriate health care, particularly people of color and other individuals from communities hardest hit by COVID-19. 

To achieve this goal, OHSU has established two low-barrier drive-up testing facilities in the Portland region at the Oregon Convention Center and Hillsboro Stadium. These low-barrier facilities do not require an appointment or referral, are free to the patient (although insurance will be charged if the patient has insurance) and are available to OHSU and non-OHSU patients alike. Low-barrier testing sites are extremely effective at providing access to testing for anyone who needs it. They are also extremely resource intensive.

OHSU’s COVID-19 mobile testing sites are currently providing tests to asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals, without appointment or referral, who meet criteria outlined in the Oregon Health Authority’s Guidance for clinicians regarding COVID-19 testing. (OHSU’s testing criteria are expected to change in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and OHA guidelines, and the availability of testing supplies.)

OHSU’s Hillsboro and Northeast Portland mobile sites together test as many 600 individuals per day. Of those, between 10% and 20% are OHSU patients who require testing prior to receiving procedures or surgeries that are medically necessary. Advance testing helps ensure the health and safety of the care team and conserves scarce resources by ruling out the need for a higher level of personal protective equipment. The remaining 80% to 90% are individuals independently seeking testing, including those who have established care with other health systems.

Because OHSU offers few barriers to testing at our mobile testing sites, as reopening has occurred and cases have risen, we have seen a significant increase in individuals seeking testing. Unfortunately, the increased demand has occasionally resulted in longer than usual wait times – frequently up to two hours and beyond. 

To alleviate the bottleneck and increase access for high-risk groups, we are moving some of OHSU’s pre-surgical patient testing to at an outpatient clinic at the South Waterfront.  

We have also reached out to Multnomah County and the state to discuss the need to increase the establishment of additional low-barrier testing sites in the Portland region in order to meet the significantly increased demand.

OHSU mobile testing locations are:

Who can get tested?

Note: If you are a Kaiser, Legacy or Providence patient, you will be directed to those health care systems.

OHSU’s testing criteria follow Oregon Health Authority and CDC recommendations. Guidelines may change at any time based on updated recommendations.

Patient care

Workforce management

Research and development

Community measures

Ways to help

Please consult these resources for the most current information on the COVID-19 response:

OHSU Communications
503 494-8231