Portland, OR

Portland Daily Round Up: Local COVID testing sites prepare for spike in demand, Multnomah Co. updates snow and ice plan

Emily Scarvie

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By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Tuesday, Dec. 21 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Local COVID-19 testing sites prepare for spike in demand

As the demand for COVID-19 testing increases and the omicron variant continues to spread across the region, Multnomah County health officials say they’re partnering with community groups to get more tests to the public and increase accessibility.

“In the next few weeks, it’s potentially going to outpace our ability to track testing and to do contact tracing and to keep up with this virus that can double every two to three days,” Dr. Jennifer Vines told KATU. “We’re actively trying to figure out what advice we have for people on how to use these tests, so I think for now with the holidays, approaching a negative test before a gathering, I think, could be reassuring.”

Curative is partnering with the Oregon Health Authority to provide cost-free testing a 22 sites around the state, including the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. According to officials, long lines for testing are expected to become more common into January.

2. Several Oregon counties receiving federal funding to assist homeless veterans

The Housing Authority of Washington County and the Klamath Housing Authority will receive roughly $515,000 in funding from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program to provide rental assistance to homeless veterans. Of the funding, $484,956 will go to the Housing Authority of Washington County and $30,664 will go to the Klamath Housing Authority.

“Housing is a human right, and that’s especially true for America’s veterans when they return from their service,” Senator Ron Wyden said. “I’m gratified these federal funds will help veterans in Washington, Klamath and Lake counties get a roof over their head and a floor under their feet by connecting them directly with the assistance they need when they need it most.”

3. Multnomah County updates snow and ice maintenance plan ahead of forecasted weekend snow

With snow in the forecast this weekend, Multnomah County has updated its city plan for snow and ice removal. The update assigns areas within the county as either Priority 1 or 2 for snow and ice maintenance. Priority 1 includes heavily used roads or near schools, hospitals, fire stations and other emergency services. Priority 2 areas are “secondary roads, often residential.” These areas receive maintenance when resources are available, but they’re not an immediate concern for county workers.

New Priority 1 areas include NW Cornelius Pass Road, Sauvie Island Bridge and a section of NW Gillihan Road from the bridge to the TriMet parking lot.

To view a map of Multnomah County road priorities, click here.

4. USGS reports 4.4 magnitude earthquake off of Coos Bay

The U.S. Geological Survey reported Monday that a 4.4 earthquake struck off the Oregon coast at around 7:30 p.m. According to officials, the earthquake hit near Coos Bay and was around 6-miles deep.

There have been roughly 80 earthquakes over 2.5 magnitude within the last day, according to USGS. There are no reports of tsunamis or a threat to the public at this time.

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