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New COVID testing and vaccination clinics add options and capacity

There are some big changes for COVID vaccine and testing clinics in Portland and the net result is there will be more access for you, if you need it.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Two heavy hitters in the world of big community COVID clinics are making some changes that kick in fully on Monday.

First, the Portland Expo Center testing and vaccination site is reopening after a brief break.

Following nearly two years as an Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)-run site, it will now be operated by the Oregon Health Authority and become a "no appointment needed" drive-thru clinic with expanded hours. It will be open seven days a week for both testing and vaccinations.

That frees up OHSU to operate a drive-thru PCR testing clinic, at a parking garage on its campus; in fact, they began serving people last week, by appointment only.

As is the case at the Expo Center, there is no charge, although if you have insurance, they will collect information and bill your insurer.

“But there’s never any out-of-pocket cost to a person needing testing," said Debbie Lamberger, senior director for ambulatory operations at OHSU. “We don’t require any identification or documentation, it’s as low barrier as it can get.”

Appointments are available from Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

And OHSU is also adding a community vaccination clinic with the same hours, starting Monday. It will be on the first floor of the university's Center for Health and Healing Building on the south waterfront. Appointments are also required.

"First dose, second dose, third dose; they’re even starting to recommend fourth dose for the severely immunocompromised, so yes we can do all of those,” said Lamberger.

OHSU says its two new clinics will add 1,000 more vaccinations and 1,100 more tests per week to what it already offers.  And OHA’s no appointment Expo Center clinic is expected to attract a lot of interest as well. 

    

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