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OHSU coronavirus (COVID-19) response

Last updated Wednesday, May 12
Empty hospital bed in a hospital room with monitors and medical equipment around

As of Wednesday, May 12

OHSU community vaccinations

  • OHSU has administered 272,416 vaccine doses through its community vaccination sites. (For more information about community locations and who is eligible, see “Community COVID-19 vaccination sites” below.)

OHSU staff vaccinations

  • As of May 12, OHSU has received 334,280 Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson doses and administered 35,152 vaccines to employees and learners (17,729 first doses and 17,423 second doses). 

Patients hospitalized with COVID-19

  • OHSU: 11
  • Hillsboro Medical Center: 5
  • Adventist Health Portland: 17

Additional OHSU-specific data

  • Since Feb. 28, 2020, there have been 141,012 patients tested. Among those, a total of 12,719 COVID-19 cases have been detected; 11 patients are currently in hospital; and, 268 patients have tests pending. There have been 61 in-hospital deaths.
  • There have been 23 new detected patient cases since May 11.
  • To date, OHSU has completed 24,660 COVID-19 tests for 8,405 staff and students. Of those, 505 tests for 490 staff and students detected COVID-19; 23,989 tests for 8,118 individuals resulted in not detected; 166 tests are pending.

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.

Community COVID-19 vaccination sites

OHSU has committed its entire organization to deploying COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are available, starting with difficult-to-reach community members in Phase 1A, including SEIU and independent home health care workers, and individuals with disabilities and their caregivers.

This effort will expand as the Oregon Health Authority defines other groups who are eligible and distributes vaccines allocated to the state by the federal government.

Because vaccine supply is limited, vaccinations will be provided only through appointments made through OHSU for eligible OHSU patients or organizations representing priority groups of people identified by the state health authority. OHSU has established an online resource to help OHSU patients determine if they are eligible and to make an appointment to get vaccinated. The university has also engaged students and trainees to vaccinate Oregonians.

At this time, OHSU Health is collaborating with community partners and other hospitals and health systems to offer vaccinations at the following sites:

  • Portland International Airport, Red Economy Parking Lot 
    • Appointment-only, drive-through clinic available to Phase 1A community members, including SEIU and independent home health care workers, and people with disabilities and their caregivers.
    • Collaborating organizations: OHSU, American Red Cross, Port of Portland
  • Oregon Convention Center 
    • Appointment-only, indoor (no-drive-through) clinic available to Phase 1A community members, including SEIU and independent home health care workers, and people with disabilities and their caregivers.
    • Collaborating organizations: Kaiser Permanente, OHSU, Providence, Legacy Health
  • OHSU Multnomah Pavilion, Marquam Hill Campus 
    • Appointment-only, indoor (no-drive-through) clinic available to Phase 1A OHSU patients.
  • Hillsboro Stadium, 4450 N.E. Century Blvd., Hillsboro
    • Weekend appointment-only drive-through, walk up or arrive by bike or transit
    • Collaborating organizations: OHSU, Hillsboro Medical Center
  • Mobile Testing Vans (TBD)
    • In the coming weeks, OHSU will deploy mobile vaccination vans statewide to eligible groups in communities lacking easy access.

Mobile, drive-through testing

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 one low-barrier drive-up testing facility in the Portland region at the Portland Expo Center. This low-barrier testing site does not require an appointment or referral, is free to the patient (although insurance will be charged if the patient has insurance) and is 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 site is 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 mobile sites have tested more than 700 individuals per day during periods of high demand, running two lanes. 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.

To 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.

OHSU Health continues to offer 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. 

Learn more about details of testing. Guidelines may change at any time based on updated recommendations.

Patient care

  • Patient visitation: Support of friends and family is an important part of healing. Details of OHSU’s current patient visitation policy can be found here.
  • OHSU has established a series of steps to prepare patients who have recovered from COVID-19 for elective surgery following their illness. It's believed to be the first published protocol laying out a COVID-era path forward in American medicine.
  • OHSU has implemented a “mask on” policy for all patients, visitors and staff inside the hospital. For employees, this means anyone working in a patient-care area, in hallways, and in research labs. All employees who work in patient care areas will receive masks provided by OHSU. OHSU is asking all employees to conserve supplies as much as safely possible to preserve these precious resources for the entire institution and their colleagues.
  • OHSU’s research community came together to launch an in-house COVID-19 testing lab on March 24, 2020. The lab is an example of the many collaborations that have been happening at OHSU and in the health care community. In this case, members of the research community rallied to support the clinical community and testing in a drive to combat COVID-19. The lab's capacity greatly expanded in October.
  • OHSU’s Telemedicine Program offers an opportunity for patients to consult with licensed clinicians through a telephone or video connection from their home, limiting barriers to health care access. The service has expanded exponentially in response to COVID-19.

Workforce management

  • A training video OHSU developed to prepare its students and staff to give COVID-19 vaccines is now being used to train California paramedics and emergency medical technicians as that state ramps up its fight against the pandemic.
  • OHSU suspended work-related travel beginning the week of March 9, 2020, with exceptions primarily related to clinicians providing patient care to sites around the Portland metro area and Oregon. The goal is to minimize quarantines of health care workers and help to slow the spread of the virus.
  • OHSU has instituted a wellness program designed to support clinicians, employees and students during the COVID-19 pandemic. One example is a grant-funded program that paid local restaurants to supply hot meals for high-impact frontline health care workers following the holidays.
  • OHSU is promoting physical distancing within the university, including by requiring non-critical function employees to work remotely and minimizing the number of people gathered for in-person meetings through video and teleconferencing alternatives. 

Research and development

  • On Nov. 30, OHSU announced it is part of a Phase 3 clinical trial for a vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
  • OHSU scientists and physicians are engaged in a multipronged effort across the institution to improve scientific understanding of the novel coronavirus and bring the pandemic under control.
  • An OHSU-led evidence review confirms CDC guidance suggesting people with mild or no symptoms may be infectious for no more than about 10 days. People who are severely ill from COVID-19 may be infectious for as long as 20 days.
  • OHSU is partnering with the local nonprofit Self Enhancement Inc. on a pilot study that combines wastewater monitoring with voluntary saliva-based testing of residents in four Portland neighborhoods. Preliminary results are promising, and the project has helped forge connections with historically underserved communities.
  • An OHSU-led evidence review, published in June, finds that facial coverings appear to decrease the risk of spreading respiratory illnesses in community settings.
  • OHSU data scientist Peter Graven, Ph.D., modeled the projected unchecked spread of the virus and began sharing those projections with state and local policymakers at the onset of the pandemic in Oregon in March of 2020. These projections helped inform Oregon’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” efforts to reduce the spread of the virus and ensure it doesn't exceed the capacity of health systems to treat a surge of patients who required hospitalization.
  • OHSU data scientists are leading a nationwide collaboration of clinicians, informaticians and other biomedical researchers aims to turn data from hundreds of thousands of medical records from coronavirus patients into effective treatments and predictive analytical tools that could help lessen or end the global pandemic.
  • OHSU has joined with other universities and academic medical centers across the country to ease licensing requirements to expedite promising new technologies to diagnose, treat and prevent COVID-19. 

Community measures

  • In the war against COVID-19, OHSU is racing to vaccinate as many Oregonians as quickly as possible. Over time, the goal is to drive the virus into submission by cutting off its ability to spread.
  • OHSU is deploying three mobile testing vans to increase the availability of testing in Oregon communities lacking easy access. The vans can be easily adapted to transition to vaccinating Oregonians as vaccine availability ramps up in the weeks and months ahead.
  • On Dec. 3, Gov. Kate Brown appointed Louis Picker, M.D., as one of two Oregon scientists to independently review the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines that receive emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. On Dec. 11, Brown appointed OHSU Chief Administrative Officer Connie Seeley as special advisor for vaccine implementation in Oregon.
  • OHSU established a Connected Care Center, available by phone to people throughout Oregon seeking insight about care of symptoms related to COVID-19. The phone number is 833-647-8222.
  • OHSU President Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, joined other national health care leaders in raising alarm about disparities in health outcomes along racial and socioeconomic lines among those stricken by COVID-19. OHSU researchers confirmed the disproportionate impact of the virus on Black and Hispanic populations with an evidence review published Dec. 1.

Ways to help

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

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