For patients and the public

OHSU email updates

Sign up to receive email updates on COVID-19 from OHSU.

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For providers and practice leaders

See our Physician Advice and Referrals page for information about OHSU operations, referring patients, and managing a practice during a major outbreak.

Infographics

A preview image of an infographic about the symptoms of COVID-19.
A preview image of an infographic that explains the importance of getting a flu shot this season.
A preview image of an infographic listing ways for you to lower the chances of spreading COVID-19.
An infographic that encourages people to continue to seek out health care when they need it, and to not delay doing so because of COVID-19.
A preview image of an infographic about what you should do if you go out in public.
A preview image of an infographic that explains the importance of contact tracing.

We’ve gathered resources and links on the coronavirus and COVID-19 to help you stay up to date.

Update on OHSU operations: OHSU is postponing some elective surgeries to make sure we have enough staff and beds for coronavirus patients. Only some elective surgeries — and only those that require a hospital stay — are being postponed. Other services are unaffected. Learn more about OHSU operations  and how we are protecting patient safety during the pandemic. If you have questions about a planned surgery, please contact your clinic.

Vaccines: Find information about COVID-19 vaccines.

OHSU Health testing options

OHSU's testing site offers both coronavirus testing and influenza vaccinations (flu shots).  OHSU has also introduced three vans to make testing available across parts of Oregon. 

Note:

  • If you are a Kaiser, Legacy or Providence patient, you will be directed to those health care systems. Please see the section below for your testing options.
  • If you are an OHSU employee, please see testing information on O2.

Those with symptoms:

People over age 2 months can be tested if they have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Congestion/runny nose

Those without symptoms:

People without symptoms can get tested if they meet any of the following:

  • They are giving birth, or they are having surgery or another qualifying procedure at OHSU.
  • They have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • A public health department has required them to get tested for contact tracing.
  • The person identifies as one or more of the following:
    • The person is a migrant/seasonal agricultural worker.
    • The person is Black, African American, Latino, Latina, Lantinx, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Asian American or Pacific Islander.
    • The person has a disability.
    • English is not the person's first language.

In addition:

  • People without symptoms who test negative will not be able to get a repeat test for at least 7 days.
  • People without symptoms who have tested positive before: OHSU is no longer testing people who previously tested positive until 90 days after they were first diagnosed. 

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

Update: The Oregon Convention Center site has closed for testing so it can be used for COVID-19 vaccinations (by appointment only). OHSU Health is working to set up a new testing site in Portland. Use the Oregon Health Authority test-site finder to see current  options.

Waits: Wait times may vary depending on demand, and the site may close early. We strongly recommend wearing a mask in the car with someone who has symptoms that could be from COVID-19.

First two hours: The first two hours are reserved for patients of OHSU (including Hillsboro Medical Center and Adventist), household members of OHSU employees, and first responders. All must meet testing criteria. As hundreds of people a day come to our site, this schedule will enable us to continue serving as a public resource while also meeting the needs of patients.

OHSU Health Testing and Vaccination Site, Hillsboro
Coronavirus tests and flu shots
Hillsboro Stadium

4450 N.E. Century Blvd., Hillsboro, OR 97124

Hours:

  • Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 
  • Holiday hours: Closed Monday, Feb. 15. 

Vans are bringing COVID-19 tests to three regions of Oregon. Learn more and make an appointment.

Learn about your testing options:

Where do you normally get health care? Kaiser, Legacy and Providence patients will be directed to seek testing in those health care systems. See the "Kaiser, Legacy and Providence patients" section above to learn more.

Did an OHSU provider ask you to get tested to prepare for a visit? If yes, you will be sent forward for testing.

Do you have symptoms?

  • If yes, you will be screened and sent forward for testing.
  • If no, a staff member will make sure you meet testing criteria. (See “Who can get tested,” above.)

See “Who can get tested,” above, for OHSU’s testing criteria.

  • Work-related: You may be required to get a negative test before returning to work. You still must meet testing criteria to qualify for a test.
  • Travel-related: You may be planning travel and seeking to avoid a quarantine after you arrive. Or you may have concerns after returning from travel. You still must meet testing criteria to qualify for a test.
  • Secondhand exposure: Under Oregon Health Authority criteria for exposure, you need to have had close, direct contact with someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19. Coming in contact with someone who was in contact with someone who has the virus does not meet the testing criteria.

OHSU tools

Do you have questions about coronavirus symptoms and care? If so, please contact your primary care provider. If you don’t have one, call us at 833-647-8222, and we'll answer your questions. We are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Try our screening tool in MyChart, our online patient portal. The tool asks you to fill out a brief questionnaire, then provides guidance on next steps. You'll need to sign in to MyChart as an OHSU patient.

  • You can download the MyChart app from Apple or Google.
  • Or you can log in to MyChart on a desktop or laptop.
Screenshot of "At-home care for people with COVID-19" guide

OHSU offers this downloadable guide on caring for a COVID-19 patient at home. Steps outline how to protect patients, families and caregivers.

OHSU visitor policy

OHSU Hospital Acceptable Masks and Face Coverings for Patients, Employees, Staff, Visitors - updated Sept. 22, 2020

Everyone age 2 and older must wear a mask in the hospital. 

Download our flyer on acceptable masks.

Under Oregon law, people with disabilities have the right to have support from people they trust while they are in the emergency department or the hospital.

For patients who need help communicating with hospital staff, making health care decisions or engaging in activities of daily living because of a disability, including, but not limited to:

  • A  physical, intellectual, behavioral or cognitive impairment
  • Deafness, being hard of hearing or other communication barrier
  • Blindness
  • Autism
  • Dementia

You can name at least three support people (friends, family, paid or unpaid personal care assistant, etc.) to help you.

You can always have at least one support person with you:

  • In the emergency room.
  • During your hospital stay if you need help with your care.

The hospital must make sure you have a support person with you:

  • For any talk about hospice care.
  • When you consider signing an advance directive or POLST (physician orders for life-sustaining treatment) form.

Support people must comply with infection-control standards and the OHSU visitor policy.

Read our full policy on patient rights and responsibilities.

Notes:

  • The patient or their representative decides whether support is needed.
  • Treatment should still be guided by an existing POLST, advance directive or similar instruction.
  • “Support person” means a family member, guardian, personal care assistant or other paid or unpaid attendant selected by the patient to physically or emotionally assist the patient or ensure effective communication with the patient.

Patients can bring one healthy person who is 18 or older.

Exception: New parents can bring their baby who is 6 months or younger to the OHSU Center for Women's Health for postpartum and other visits. Older children cannot come with you.  If needed, we can offer you a visit by video or phone instead. 

  • One healthy person age 18 or older at a time may visit a patient in the hospital. 
  • Two healthy people age 18 or older per stay may visit:
    • A patient in labor or who just had a baby.
  • One healthy parent or guardian at a time may visit:
    • A newborn in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
    • A child having a procedure or surgery.
    • A child in our outpatient clinics.
  • Two healthy parents or guardians at a time may visit:
    • A baby in the hospital nursery.
    • A child's hospital room.
  • Two healthy people age 18 or older per day may visit a patient at the same time during end-of-life care.

For adult patients:

  • One healthy person age 18 or older may accompany a patient to the waiting area. The support person will not be allowed in the pre/post-procedure area except:
    • Under Oregon law, patients may have a visitor if they need help from a support person because of a language barrier or disability; if they need help with activities of daily living or receiving treatment; or to ensure the safety of the patient or health care workers. Every effort will be made to arrange this in advance.
    • Any patient, temporarily, to learn discharge instructions for when the person leaves the hospital.
  • Patients are required to have a responsible adult take them home. Because of limited space to allow for physical distancing, we ask that the person do one of the following:
    • Return home if they live within 50 miles of OHSU and the surgery is expected to last at least three hours.
    • Wait in their car in a place with good cell service.
    • Wait in a designated waiting area.

For children:

  • One healthy adult can be with a pediatric patient for check-in and in the pre/post-procedure area.
  • Prenatal visits: One healthy person age 18 or older may come with you.
  • Labor and delivery: Two healthy people age 18 or older can come with you into the hospital and to the labor floor. We ask that they stay with you at all times.

See the “Visiting patients in the hospital” section above for more details on visits with new moms and newborns.

Patients have the right to refuse COVID-19 testing when seeking emergency care at OHSU. Any patients who come to OHSU with an emergency, including active labor, will receive care regardless of whether they agree to testing.

When COVID testing is declined, health care personnel base their use of PPE on the assumption that the patient could have COVID-19. Our visitor policy describes when visitors are allowed for patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

OHSU operations

OHSU is postponing some elective surgeries as coronavirus cases rise. We want to make sure we have the staff and beds to care for all our patients. Only some elective surgeries, and only those that require a hospital stay, are affected. We are taking this step voluntarily, and we’re adjusting the limits on elective surgeries daily based on the latest information. If you have questions about a planned surgery, please contact your clinic.

Surgeries, procedures and appointments: Most services are available. To check on upcoming appointments, you can call your clinic or check MyChart.

Clinical trials: OHSU halted in-person visits for studies that are not medically necessary. Contact your team or principal investigator with questions specific to your study.

Events: Many events have been canceled. You should hear from organizers, or check the event listing.

Marquam Hill campus

In addition to the many coffee/tea kiosks open around campus, you can almost always find food a few steps away at one of the following locations.

Cafe on Third
OHSU Hospital, 3rd floor
Always open

It's All Good - Natural Food Store
OHSU Hospital, 9th floor
Weekdays, 7:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Plaza Cafe
Hatfield Research Building, 9th floor
Weekdays, 6:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sam's Cafe
Sam Jackson Hall, 1st floor
Weekdays, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Nightingale Cafe
School of Nursing, first floor
Weekdays, 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

20/20 Cafe
Casey Eye Institute, first floor
Weekdays,
7:30 - 9:30 a.m.
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

It's All Good @ Casey Coffee Shop
Casey Eye Institute, first floor
Weekdays, 6:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Mackenzie Hall Cafe
Mackenzie Hall, first floor
Weekdays, 6:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Doernbecher Starbucks
Doernbecher Children's Hospital, first floor
Weekdays, 5 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Weekends, 5:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

South Waterfront campus

Daily Cafe
Center for Health & Healing Building 1, first floor
Weekdays, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Daily Cafe Coffee Bar
Center for Health & Healing Building 1, first floor atrium
Weekdays, 6:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Learn how OHSU is protecting patients so you can be comfortable getting health care for yourself and your family members. We’ve greatly expanded virtual video visits. We’ve also added a range of screening, distancing and cleaning measures.

Early studies suggested that blood type could affect the risk of getting the coronavirus and becoming seriously ill from it. Newer studies (from New York Presbyterian Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital), though, found little difference. In any case, OHSU is unable to do blood-type tests unless medically necessary.

Tram: The Portland Aerial Tram is open for patients but not the public. Capacity is limited. Learn more and find alternatives.

Transportation and parking: Find detailed updates on OHSU parking, shuttles, badge access, bike valet services, ride sharing and more.

OHSU is grateful for the many generous food donations for our front-line staff during this crisis. We ask that you please help us make sure that donations are orderly and safe by donating money through our partner, Frontline Foods PDX.

You can designate OHSU as the recipient. Your gift to this volunteer-run chapter of the national Frontline Foods network is tax-deductible.

The OHSU Foundation has created a fund to help OHSU leaders meet urgent COVID-19 needs. Your donation will help OHSU supply our health care providers with the resources they need to care for patients and to stop the spread.

Dr. Jordan Young (left) and Dr. Ran Ran put on protective gear before entering a patient room in OHSU’s Emergency Department.
Dr. Jordan Young (left) and Dr. Ran Ran put on protective gear before entering a patient room in OHSU’s Emergency Department.

Where to learn more

COVID-19 vaccines

Visit our COVID-19 Vaccines page to keep up with news and learn about vaccines. The page includes an FAQ and links to more information.

COVID-19 information

Community resources

  • Call 2-1-1 from a mobile phone
  • Call 503-222-5555 from a landline
  • Email help@211.com for general information

News sources

These news organizations either have no paywall or have made some coronavirus stories available to everyone:

Pharmaceutical companies are running or preparing to run clinical trials in the U.S. for potential COVID-19 vaccines. The trials will test safety and effectiveness in human volunteers.

Learn more:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a series of videos on COVID-19 in American Sign Language. See one here and find the full series on YouTube.

Daniel Streblow, Ph.D., (left) and Donna Hansel, M.D., Ph.D., work in OHSU’s in-house COVID-19 testing lab.
Daniel Streblow, Ph.D., (left) and Donna Hansel, M.D., Ph.D., work in OHSU’s in-house COVID-19 testing lab.

FAQ

The disease: COVID-19 is the illness caused by a newly identified coronavirus. COVID stands for coronavirus disease, and 19 refers to the year it started.

The coronavirus: The virus itself is called SARS-CoV-2, short for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

Background: Coronaviruses are part of a large group of viruses that cause illness. Some coronaviruses cause mild illness, such as the common cold. Others can cause serious illness, such as COVID-19.

CDC graphic of coronavirus COVID-19 symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache

According to the CDC, symptoms are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you see emergency signs, call 911 or your emergency department. They are:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Other severe symptoms

According to the CDC, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Precise information on how long symptoms last isn’t available. But according to a World Health Organization report, based on preliminary data from 55,924 confirmed cases in China:

  • Mild cases lasted about two weeks.
  • Severe cases lasted three to six weeks.
  • Patients who died had symptoms for two to eight weeks beforehand.

Vaccines: The FDA has granted emergency-use authorization to two vaccines, one made by Pfizer-BioNTech and the other by Moderna.

Learn more: 

Medications: The FDA has approved several medications to treat COVID-19 in specific instances and for certain patients. See a list on this FDA web page, under "Drug and Biological Products."

Yes. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping and not delaying well-child visits for all ages (infants, children and adolescents).

The AAP issued updated guidance May 8 to encourage well-child visits, as concerning data shows children are missing check-ups and vaccinations.

Vaccinations are essential to protecting all children against dangerous and preventable diseases such as measles, meningitis and whooping cough.

The AAP recommends:

  • All well-child visits should take place in person whenever possible, with the providers who have routinely seen your children.
  • Clinics who care for children should call families who have missed an in-person visit to reschedule.
  • Families should not delay visits to their child's doctors (pediatricians, family medicine or nurse practitioners, physician assistants.)
  • Children and youths who regularly see specialists should resume, and those who are referred to specialists should complete these visits.

The AAP says some well-child visits can start through a virtual visit (by video or phone) but that parts of these visits must be done in person. At Doernbecher clinics, we are doing well-child visits only in person.

OHSU and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital clinics and providers are using all public health recommendations to keep visits safe.  Find more information on Doernbecher's Healthy Families blog

Coronavirus tests

These tests detect the virus itself. A sample is taken, usually by inserting a swab into the person’s nose to collect mucus. Tests on the sample show if there’s any genetic material from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The tests show if someone is infected with the coronavirus. If someone has symptoms, the tests can show that the coronavirus is the cause. 

Antibody tests

Antibody tests detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Antibodies are tiny proteins that the body’s immune system releases into the bloodstream to fight infection.

If someone has antibodies, it means the person had enough exposure to the coronavirus to have an immune response, with or without symptoms. For this test, a person gives a blood sample. These tests are also called serum tests or serology tests.

OHSU recommends against getting an antibody test unless:

  • There is a clear medical reason.
  • There is a plan for how your health care provider will use the results.

OHSU also recommends against having an antibody test to:

  • Decide if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Try to determine how you will respond to a vaccine.

Oregon

As of July 1, 2020, Oregonians are required to wear a face covering over their mouth and nose in indoor public spaces. The Oregon Health Authority  also recommends that people use face coverings in business and public settings.

U.S.

The CDC recommends that people wear a cloth that covers their nose and mouth in any public place where it’s difficult to maintain physical distancing. Examples would be in a grocery store or pharmacy.

See CDC instructions for making a cloth face covering:

There is no evidence that food or food packaging can transmit COVID-19. However, it’s important to follow food safety standards to help protect workers and customers from COVID-19.

In general, because of poor survivability of coronaviruses on surfaces, there is probably very low risk of spread from food products or packaging.

Learn more:

According to the CDC, the risk of spread via mail or packaging is low. COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person. Also remember that it’s a good idea in general to wash your hands often.

It may be possible to get COVID-19 by touching something that has the virus on it, then touching the mouth, nose or eyes. Health experts don’t think this is a main way the virus spreads, but the CDC still recommends cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

The virus lasts on surfaces for varying amounts of time. It tends to survive longer on metals, hard plastics and cardboard.

It’s important to routinely disinfect surfaces that are used often, such as doorknobs and tables. Also disinfect surfaces that are suspected of being infected. Washing your hands often with soap or hand sanitizer is also encouraged.

Learn more: