For patients and the public

OHSU operations

OHSU patient services are resuming. For information about upcoming appointments, call the clinic or check MyChart.

OHSU email updates

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

Email:

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

An infographic illustrating the importance of wearing a face mask.
An infographic explains what the term "contact tracing" means.
A preview image of an infographic titled "Crowds and COVID-19."
An infographic that offers guidance on how to safely attend social events while COVID-19 is still a threat.

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

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 drive-up testing

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.

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
  • Trouble breathing
  • Or at least two of the following symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Diarrhea

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 a vulnerable immune system and are following steps to end isolation (tested positive at least 14 days ago AND have not had any symptoms for 14 days).
  • 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.
  • One or more of the following:
    • The person is a migrant/seasonal agricultural worker.
    • The person is Black, African-American, Latinx, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Asian-American or Pacific Islander.
    • The person has a disability.
    • English is not the person's first language.

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

Wait times may vary based on demand. Sites also may close early depending on volume.

  • Westside Mobile Testing Site:
    Hillsboro Stadium
    4450 N.E. Century Blvd., Hillsboro, OR 97124
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Saturday
  • North Mobile Testing Site:
    Portland Expo Center
    2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland, OR 97217
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Saturday

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 section above to learn about options.

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 operations

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

Visiting patients in the hospital

  • One healthy person age 18 or older at a time, and no more than two per day, may visit:
    • A patient with limited comprehension, or a patient whose care team thinks the person needs a visitor for care and safety
    • Any patient, temporarily, to learn discharge instructions for when the person leaves the hospital
  • One healthy person 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.

Surgery and other procedures

For adult patients:

  • One healthy person age 18 or older may accompany:
    • A patient with limited comprehension, or a patient whose care team thinks the person needs a visitor for care and safety
    • 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. This person will need to drop you off and come back to pick you up.  They cannot wait in the building at this time.

For children:

  • One healthy adult can be with a pediatric patient for check-in and leading up to the procedure and during the recovery period.

Clinics

  • One healthy person age 18 or older can come with the patient if the person is the patient’s necessary caregiver or legal decision-maker. 
  • If someone drives you to your appointment, they will need to drop you off and come back to pick you up. They cannot wait in the building at this time.

Surgeries, procedures and appointments: OHSU has resumed most services. 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.

We welcome patients for prenatal appointments, labor and delivery. These visits are safe. We’ve taken extensive precautions to disinfect rooms and equipment after each patient.

Prenatal visits are important for the health of you and your baby. We’re also prepared for any complication that may occur during labor or delivery.

Arriving for delivery: Enter the hospital through the Emergency Department on Campus Drive. There is a separate throughway for pregnant patients. Identify yourself as in labor.

Temporary visitor policies: We’re strictly limiting visitors so we can protect patients and staff from the spread of COVID-19.

  • Prenatal visits: No guest may come with you to a prenatal appointment. Please ask about using a video chat option, such as FaceTime, or taking video or photos to share later.
  • Labor and delivery: One healthy person age 18 or older can come with you into the hospital and to the labor floor. We ask that the person stay with you at all times.

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

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
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Less common: Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or 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 awaken
  • 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.

There is no vaccine to prevent infection with the coronavirus. The World Health Organization is tracking dozens of potential vaccines, including some in clinical trials (tests on humans). This piece in The New York Times outlines how vaccines are developed.

The FDA has approved one medication, under an emergency-use authorization. to treat COVID-19 in patients who are in the hospital. Early results from a clinical trial showed that remdesivir, an antiviral medication, can shorten recovery times. Many other potential medications are in clinical trials in the U.S., China and other countries.

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

Antibody tests

Antibody tests detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. 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.

These tests are important for detecting infections in people who had few or no symptoms. Widely available antibody testing would help determine how much of the U.S. population has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

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.

In the U.S., people generally get this test only if they have symptoms. The test can show if the coronavirus caused the symptoms.

OHSU scientists expect to have antibody tests available soon. How many tests we can do in a given time, and how widely we can offer them, will depend on supplies. An OHSU committee of experts will help set priorities.

Staff members in OHSU’s CDRC/Molecular Microbiology Lab are evaluating two types of antibody tests:

  • A lab-based option that would run many samples at the same time, with results in a few hours.
  • A testing-site option that would produce a result in as little as 10 minutes.

Learn more about OHSU’s work on antibody testing.

Oregon

As of July 1, 2020, Oregonians are required to wear a face covering over their mouth and nose in indoor public spaces. Gov. Kate Brown extended the requirement from eight counties to statewide to curb rising infections.

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.

The goal is to prevent the wearer from spreading the virus to others, especially when they have no symptoms, not to keep the wearer from getting sick.

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: