OHSU coronavirus (COVID-19) response

Health Care , Community , Coronavirus (COVID-19)
OHSU Emergency
OHSU Emergency
Empty hospital bed in a hospital room with monitors and medical equipment around

As of Friday, Jan. 15

OHSU staff vaccinations

Patients hospitalized with COVID-19

Additional OHSU-specific data

As the state's academic health center, Oregon Health & Science University remains engaged with state and local public health authorities and health systems across the metro area to coordinate a regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to contain the spread of the virus, including through the use of vaccines that first arrived at OHSU on Dec. 15.

Beginning in the earliest days of the pandemic, OHSU activated an emergency operations center that adapted response plans already in place from previous pandemic influenza outbreaks.

OHSU has prepared to treat a surge of patients with COVID-19, while working proactively to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 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 are testing more than 700 individuals per day, running two lanes at each site. 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 and the region is seeing a record-breaking number of COVID-19 cases, we have seen a significant increase in individuals seeking testing. Unfortunately, the increased demand sometimes reults in long wait times – frequently up to four hours. These are the longest waits we have seen and are comparable to the spike in individuals seeking testing in late July.

To alleviate the bottleneck and increase access for high-risk groups, we have moved some of OHSU’s pre-surgical patient testing to at an outpatient clinic at the South Waterfront. On Dec. 7, OHSU dedicated the first two hours of daily operation for priority groups during periods of exceptionally high demand.

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 Health is offering coronavirus tests at the two following locations:

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