For patients and the public
Many OHSU patient services have resumed. 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.
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.
We’ve gathered resources and links on the coronavirus and COVID-19 to help you stay up to date.
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.
OHSU Health testing and vaccination sites
Update: OHSU testing sites for the coronavirus will offer influenza vaccinations (flu shots) starting in mid- to late October. See "OHSU testing and vaccination (flu shot) locations and hours" below for dates.
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:
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Nausea / vomiting
- 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.
- 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.
OHSU Health Testing and Vaccination Site, Portland
Oregon Convention Center
777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97232
Enter the parking garage via Northeast Lloyd Boulevard
Flu shots will be offered starting Oct. 19
OHSU Health Testing and Vaccination Site, Hillsboro
4450 N.E. Century Blvd., Hillsboro, OR 97124
Flu shots will be offered starting Oct. 22
Hours for both sites:
- Monday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Friday: 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Learn about your testing options:
- Legacy Medical Group patients: Visit Legacy Health’s pages on COVID-19 Testing or Urgent Care/Virtual Visits.
- Kaiser Permanente patients: Call 1-800-813-2000 (TTY 711) 24/7 or find information on Kaiser’s website.
- Providence Health Plan patients: See the Providence page on testing sites. This page also serves established patients of Providence providers.
- Multnomah County: The county offers no-cost testing in Gresham two days a week for those with symptoms. Call 503-988-8939 for an appointment or learn more on the county’s COVID-19 Testing page.
- American Family Care: Testing is available every day at five locations. Provider screening is required. Call 503-305-6262 or visit the Telemedicine/Urgent Care page.
- The Oregon Health Authority has a web page to help people find a testing site.
- Molecular Vision
- One Medical
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 visitor policy
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
OHSU news on COVID-19
- OHSU coronavirus (COVID-19) response
- 6 ways parents can ensure a safe, healthy school year from home
- Seeing smiles in the neonatal intensive care unit
- New clinical trial at OHSU tests donated antibodies
- OHSU rises to meet testing challenge
- Vigilance and protection on the front lines of agriculture
- OHSU evidence review examines role of masks in containing spread of COVID-19
- Statement on tear gas and nonviolent protests
- Coronavirus survivors could be protected against future illness, study suggests
- COVID-19 and kids: Your questions answered
- ‘Science will lead us out of the pandemic’
- OHSU researchers focus on antibody testing
- Don’t wait for emergency care, OHSU physicians urge
- COVID-19-related illness among children: What we know so far
- Pregnancy, birthing and COVID-19
- OHSU telehealth rockets into ‘new era of medicine’
- Health Disparities and COVID-19: A crisis within a crisis
- Coping with COVID-19: Tips for getting a good night’s sleep
- Drugs considered for COVID-19 can raise risk for dangerous abnormal heart rhythms
- Oregon Poison Center at OHSU warns against dangerous COVID-19 remedies circulating on social media
See more OHSU news on COVID-19
Where to learn more
- Call 2-1-1 from a mobile phone
- Call 503-222-5555 from a landline
- Email email@example.com for general information
Information by topic
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on:
- CDC Coronavirus Self-Checker
- How to protect yourself
- If you are sick or caring for someone who is sick
- People who need extra precautions
- Pregnancy, breastfeeding and caring for young children
- Daily life and coping
- Cloth face coverings
- Pets and other animals
- Communities, schools and workplaces
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.
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.
According to the CDC, symptoms are:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
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.
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 a handful of medications, under emergency-use authorization, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.