PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As COVID cases surge, demand for testing has skyrocketed, OHSU re-opened a drive-up COVID testing site at the Portland Expo Center.
The site was closed in June as demand for COVID vaccines outpaced the demand for testing. But because COVID numbers and hospitalizations continue to hover at or near pandemic highs, the demand for testing is back up.
As of now, OHSU is offering free COVID-19 testing at the Expo Center Monday through Friday. Testing is free and available by appointment for anyone 2 months old and older. You don’t have to be showing symptoms to get tested.
Appointments are needed and can be made online or by phone — but there are many slots available. However that may change.
The site is open Monday to Wednesday, 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., and Thursday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Oregon Health Authority said COVID cases were down slightly last week, but case numbers and hospitalizations are still alarmingly high. Health systems are not able to provide care to everyone who needs it.
“You may not get the next bed because it’s not available and this is not only for COVID, this means for everything — for having an injury, having a stroke, having a heart attack,” said Matthias Merkel, the Senior Associate Chief Medical Officer for OHSU. “Our health systems are overwhelmed.”
Doctors also said this crisis is largely being driven by people who have not yet been vaccinated. The decisions people make over the next few weeks will determine if case numbers continue to go down or if hospitals will continue to be overwhelmed.
Health officials continue to ask all Oregonians to mask up, remain socially distant and get vaccinated.