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OHSU coronavirus (COVID-19) response

Last updated Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Aerial OHSU Marquam Hill
Aerial of OHSU. (OHSU/Aaron Bieleck)

As of Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Patients hospitalized with COVID-19

  • OHSU: 12
  • Hillsboro Medical Center: 3
  • OHSU Hospital and OHSU Health Hillsboro Medical Center hospitalization details:
    • 4 Not Fully Vaccinated/Unvaccinated
    • 9 Fully Vaccinated
    • 2 Fully Vaccinated with Booster and/or Updated 2023-2024 Vaccine
      • 0 de-isolated
      • 15 infectious
  • 1 Patients in ICU
    • 0 Not Fully Vaccinated/Unvaccinated
    • 1 Fully Vaccinated
    • 0 Fully Vaccinated with Booster and/or Updated 2023-2024 Vaccine
  • 1 Patients on a Ventilator
    • 0 Not Fully Vaccinated/Unvaccinated
    • 1 Fully Vaccinated
    • 0 Fully Vaccinated with Booster and/or Updated 2023-2024 Vaccine

OHSU uses the term “fully vaccinated” to describe the vaccination status of members and patients, and the CDC uses the term “up to date.” Individuals are considered “fully vaccinated” when they have: a) received both doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or b) one dose of a single-dose vaccine, and c) at least 14 days have passed since the individual’s final dose. Individuals are considered “up to date” regarding vaccinations when they have received all doses in the primary series and all boosters and updated vaccines recommended for them, when eligible: View the CDC’s information.

To find vaccination options near you, visit:

OHSU-specific data

  • Since Feb. 28, 2020, there have been 292,636 patients tested. Among those, a total of 32,149 COVID-19 cases have been detected; 12 patients are in hospital; and 130 patients have tests pending. There have been 262 in-hospital deaths.
  • There have been 8 newly detected patient cases since July 16.

OHSU community vaccinations

  • OHSU has administered 496,024 vaccine doses through its community vaccination sites, in addition to the 546,166 vaccine doses administered to date through the Oregon Convention Center vaccination site, which was jointly managed by OHSU, Legacy Health, Kaiser Permanente and Providence Health & Services. (For more information about community locations and who is eligible, see “Community COVID-19 vaccination sites” below.)

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, 2020.

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, and this group continues to meet.

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, starting with difficult-to-reach community members and underserved communities. The university has also engaged students and trainees to vaccinate Oregonians.

After federal and state authorities recommended two COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months old in June 2022, OHSU organized appointment-only vaccination clinics for younger children at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. OHSU Health also continues to offer vaccinations for individuals 12 years or older by appointment only at various OHSU Health pharmacies, and for individuals 5 years or older through their doctor.

More information about OHSU vaccine services and our online vaccination appointment reservation system is available at the OHSU COVID-19 Vaccines website.

The mass vaccination clinics at the Portland International Airport, Red Economy Parking Lot and Oregon Convention Center closed June 19, 2021, after delivering more than 800,000 vaccine doses from those two sites alone. OHSU’s last day managing the Portland Expo Center location was Jan. 14, 2022. OHSU also ran an indoor vaccination clinic on OHSU’s South Waterfront campus between Jan. 19 and April 14, 2022.

COVID-19 testing

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. Throughout the pandemic, OHSU offered low-barrier drive-through testing that has tracked surges in case counts, at various points accommodating as many as 700 people a day through sites in Hillsboro, the Oregon Convention Center and the Portland Expo Center.

Patients and community members can use their insurance or purchase COVID-19 testing at OHSU immediate care clinics on its South Waterfront Campus and in Beaverton. Purchase home antigen test kits through local pharmacies or retail stores. 

Learn more about other OHSU COVID-19 testing options and resources.

Patient care

  • OHSU is following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations to allow critical function health care staff to return to work six days, rather than 10 days, after a COVID-19 infection under the following conditions: Staff have had mild to moderate illness and are not immunocompromised; and their symptoms are improving and they are otherwise feeling well. This change enables OHSU to manage community health care needs and staffing challenges related to COVID-19. Staff in this position will be required to wear N-95 masks.
  • Oregon no longer requires masks in health care settings. At OHSU, we still require masks for ages 2 and older: 

    • In areas where patients and staff are at greatest risk. 

    • By patient request. 

    • Based on guidance from the CDC.

  • On Feb. 1, 2022, OHSU opened a Centralized Transportation Center. Staff is available seven days a week to help schedule transportation for patients moving between buildings or discharging from the hospital and clinics. The center allows OHSU to more quickly make space for new patients during the current surge in cases driven by the omicron variant.
  • OHSU manages an unprecedented surge of critically ill patients from the delta variant beginning in the summer of 2021. Frontline health care workers reiterate the importance of people getting vaccinated. "This is a preventable illness," says Erin Boni, R.N., B.S.N., "This doesn't have to happen to anyone anymore."
  • OHSU has established a Long COVID-19 Program to provide comprehensive, coordinated care for people experiencing debilitating symptoms months after their infection.
  • 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’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 2020.
  • In June 2021, OHSU received federal and state funding to dramatically expand the state's ability to track variants of concern across Oregon and Southwest Washington.
  • OHSU’s Telemedicine Program offers an opportunity for patients to consult with licensed clinicians through a telephone or video connection from their homes, limiting barriers to health care access. The service has expanded exponentially in response to COVID-19.

Workforce management

  • OHSU offered childcare accommodations, including a $7.5 million hardship stipend, to help sustain its workforce during the pandemic.
  • A training video OHSU developed to prepare its students and staff to give COVID-19 vaccines is used to train California paramedics and emergency medical technicians as that state ramps up its fight against the pandemic.
  • 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, and includes 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

  • OHSU data scientist Peter Graven, Ph.D., has provided weekly updates of projections for hospitalizations statewide, which will become biweekly as the wave of infections generated by the omicron variant recedes. Beginning early in the pandemic, Graven 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 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.
  • A laboratory study published Dec. 16, 2021, suggests that breakthrough infections following vaccination generate "super immunity" to COVID-19. Follow-up research published on Jan. 25, 2022, reveals equally robust immunity from infection followed by vaccinationOHSU research published online on April 29, 2021, suggests that people previously infected with the novel coronavirus stand to get a much better benefit of protection against new variants if they're vaccinated. An earlier laboratory study highlighted the importance of stopping the spread of virus variants through vaccination. And another laboratory study shows telltale signals of immunity against new variants in the blood of people 11 months after infection. On July 21, 2021, OHSU scientists co-authored a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association linking age to immune response measured in blood serum.
  • An OHSU study aims to better understand the immune system's response to COVID-19 during and after pregnancy.
  • 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.
  • In November 2020, OHSU announced a partnership 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 2020, finds that facial coverings appear to decrease the risk of spreading respiratory illnesses in community settings.
  • OHSU data scientists are leading a nationwide collaboration of clinicians, informaticians and other biomedical researchers who aim 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 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

  • Ending at the close of the 2022-23 school year, OHSU offered free screenings for COVID-19 among students in K-12 schools across three regions of Oregon in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education. In the 2021-22 school year, 37,350 students were part of the screening program. There were 316,330 tests completed. With vaccines and at-home test kits available and the pandemic receding this school year, the number dropped to 6,705 enrolled students and 50,938 tests completed.
  • OHSU dramatically increased the region's ability to track virus variants, through new investments by federal and state public health authorities. The initiative harnesses the university's clinical and research expertise.
  • In the battle against COVID-19, OHSU raced 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.
  • On Dec. 3, 2020, 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, 2020, Brown appointed OHSU Chief Administration Officer Connie Seeley as a special advisor for vaccine implementation in Oregon.
  • OHSU President Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, joined other national health care leaders in raising the 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, 2020.

Ways to help

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

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