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OHSU adjusts low-barrier test sites for COVID-19

First two hours daily will be reserved for priority groups
a masked, gloved and gowned female health care worker leans down toward a car window with a cotton swab
OHSU, which provides the only two low-barrier testing sites in the Portland metro area, is dedicating the first two hours to priority groups during periods of high demand. (OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

Updated April 1, 2021 to reflect that tests at OHSU's Expo Center testing site will be offered on demand for anyone seeking a test for COVID-19, even without symptoms. Learn more about details of testing.

Oregon Health & Science University provides the only low-barrier testing site available to anyone who meets testing criteria for COVID-19 in the Portland metro area. As such, people have experienced long wait times.

Beginning Monday, Dec. 7, the OHSU Health Testing and Vaccination Sites will reserve the first two hours of the day for OHSU Health patients and certain groups. OHSU Health’s Expo Center testing site continue to be important low barrier COVID-19 testing site for the public, and because of the increasing prevalence of COVID-19 in the community, hundreds of people per day have visited during case surges over the past year. [As of March 29, 2021, OHSU continues to operate the site at Expo Center; Hillsboro Stadium and the Oregon Convention Center have converted to COVID-19 community vaccination sites.]

Although the site provided access for all Oregonians, it also serves as the primary testing location for OHSU patients, including dependents of OHSU employees and patients assigned to OHSU through an integrated care delivery system serving people on Medicaid. The current surge in COVID-19 cases necessitates improved access for patients within the OHSU network.

Changing our criteria for the priority lane – which has existed for pre-procedure patients all along – will allow OHSU Health to meet the needs of its patients while still serving as a public resource for Oregonians seeking testing. During high-volume periods, the first two hours of testing will be dedicated to:

  • First responders, including police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.
  • OHSU Health patients (includes OHSU, Hillsboro Medical Center, and Adventist Health Portland patients who have been seen by primary or specialty providers in the past two years).
  • Household members of OHSU Health employees.

OHSU will bill insurance for those who have it, but no one is turned away as long as they meet Oregon Health Authority criteria for a test. In fact, by hosting low-barrier testing sites, OHSU has provided free tests to more than 6,000 uninsured patients since the earliest days of the pandemic in Oregon.

Notably, OHSU patients include those who are commercially insured along with those covered by other forms of insurance. For example, approximately 60% of all OHSU patients are covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

For people other than first responders,  OHSU patients or household member of OHSU Health employees, the Oregon Health Authority has established a website that may have options that don’t require long waits:

OHSU mobile site location:

OHSU Health is offering coronavirus tests at the following location:

  • Portland Expo Center – 2060 N. Marine Drive
    • Hours (note that wait times may vary depending on demand, and site may close early):
      • Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      • Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.



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