Oregon’s COVID numbers have been on a steep rise this month, which means the need for testing has also increased dramatically. But with demand outpacing supply, Portlanders are finding it increasingly challenging to book appointments at the city’s testing sites, with some showing no available appointments and others booked out for several all-important days. As for at-home rapid antigen tests? They’re harder to lay your hands on than a roll of toilet paper was in spring 2020.
So to save you a Google search and a shot in the dark, we've compiled a list of Portland testing sites—many of whom have long wait times, but are worth keeping an eye on as cancellations do occur—plus how to find one of those elusive rapid home tests, thanks to some ingenious locals.
PCR and Rapid Test Sites
Curative offers free, on-demand COVID-19 testing at sites including the Oregon Convention Center, Rose City Futsal, Revolution Hall, and the Aladdin Theater—the van's regular stop at N Mississippi Avenue appears to have been removed—with the convention center site offering the quickest turnaround results for a PCR test. Online booking is recommended during the current wave.
ZoomCare’s various Portland locations—they have walk-up and drive-through testing sites—offer COVID-19 testing, with a three- to five-day turnaround on results. Patients are required to schedule a screening first.
Walgreens is offering free drive-through PCR and rapid antigen testing at various locations around Portland. Appointments are required, with patients completing a questionnaire, and self-administering the COVID test on-site.
Legacy Health’s GoHealth Urgent Care offers rapid antigen tests and PCR tests at its various Portland locations, requiring a consultation first, and billing health insurance.
AFC Urgent Care offers COVID testing (billed to insurance) at various Portland locations, with an appointment required in advance.
Kaiser Permanente currently offers COVID-19 testing only to members, and only to those who have symptoms or are coming to their centers for certain clinical procedures.
3500 N Interstate Ave
OHSU runs a drive-through site at its Marquam Hill location, with patients required to make an appointment in advance online, and then sign in to the MyChart system to receive results. 719 SW Lower Canyon Dr, 833-647-8222
Covid Clinic is a nationwide company that offers drive-through rapid antigen and PCR testing, including a no-cost PCR test. (Same-day PCR tests are also available, priced at $299.) Book online to complete the paperwork. 729 NE Oregon St
Carreón Health, a local clinic with a focus on gay and bisexual men's health, Latinx health, and trans health, offers PCR and rapid antigen tests, and will bill to your health insurance. It also offers group or event tasting at various rates, depending on the number of individuals to be tested. 1818 NE Irving St, 503-719-4827
NAYA runs a free, monthly COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinic, with testing done in a drive-through format. The center prioritizes Native American, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian community members, but anyone is welcome. 5135 NE Columbia Blvd
Portland Urgent Care offers rapid antigen and PCR tests, with all appointments scheduled online. Tests are billed to insurance, or through an uninsured patient program. 4160 NE Sandy Blvd
This Corvallis testing laboratory opened a Portland location near the Sunset Transit Center on January 17, offering drive-through PCR testing seven days a week by appointment only, promising a 24- to 48-hour turnaround for results. Tests are free or billed to insurance. 1450 SW Marlow Ave
At-Home Rapid Tests
The Biden administration has pledged to send free rapid tests to every home in the country, and on Tuesday rolled out the website where you can order four such tests per household at covidtests.org. The website says orders will usually ship in seven to 12 days.
At-home rapid tests have been the go-to for many who can’t get an appointment or are contemplating an indoor, in-person meeting, particularly with someone high risk. But good luck finding one, unless you’re on very good terms with a think-ahead stockpiler. Enter Portland software developer Scott Krager, whose 8tests.com tracks 19 different tests for sale online, refreshing every sixty seconds to tell you where they’ve been restocked.
It being Portland, we now have our own Rapid Test Bloc, dedicated to distributing rapid tests to those who need them. “Me and a bunch of people I know have been buying these things piecemeal and paying too much for them,” says the Rapid Test Bloc founder, who asked to remain anonymous in the tradition of mutual aid blocs. “It seemed like the whole thing could be done more efficiently and more effectively, and we could get tests to people who can't afford them.”
The founder and a group of friends ordered their first bulk shipment with their own money—180 tests—and began distributing them to those who direct messaged with a need. Their hope is that through donations—their Venmo is on their Twitter handle through which people can also ask for tests—they can continue bulk buying tests and delivering them through their network of community contacts.
“We're hoping people will support us trying to help other people access the same [tests], but also, it really does benefit everybody if people who have COVID know they have COVID and stay home.”
Where Not to Test
A nationwide testing center with a Portland presence has come under fire amid reports of fake lab results and failure to report results to local authorities coming from Florida and Texas. The Center for COVID Control is currently being investigated by the Oregon Department of Justice.