Portland, OR

Portland Daily Round Up: BBB investigating Center for COVID Control testing sites in Portland, PPS reducing quarantines

Emily Scarvie

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Wednesday, Jan. 12 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Better Business Bureau, Oregon DOJ investigating Center for COVID Control after complaints

As people across Oregon are scrambling to find fast COVID-19 tests amid the most recent surge in cases due to the omicron variant, concerned citizens are questioning the legitimacy of several testing sites in Portland run by a group called Center for COVID Control. According to the Better Business Bureau, this group is already on their radar and they’ve received complaints from across the country.

Center for COVID Control’s website says it offers same-day rapid test results at over 300 locations across the U.S. The BBB for Oregon and Washington has now joined an investigation into the group that was initiated by the BBB in Chicago, where Center for COVID Control is headquartered.

Health officials say consumers should go to their primary care physicians or their local health department's website to find the best COVID testing locations. The Oregon Health Authority said anyone with questions about a testing site’s legitimacy can email OHA’s COVID complaint email address.

Anyone who thinks they may have fallen victim to a fraud or scam is asked to contact the Oregon DOJ online or call the AG’s Consumer Complaint Hotline at (877) 877-9392. Additionally, people can go to identitytheft.gov to report the information.

2. Upcoming Newberg School Board recall will cost taxpayers thousands, high voter turnout expected

A recall election for two members of the Newberg School Board will take place on Jan. 18 and cost the county, and ultimately taxpayers, between $65,000 and $80,000. Only residents within the Newberg School District, roughly 25,000 people, can vote in the recall election.

Zachary Goff, the lead petitioner of the recall effort against Board Chair Dave Brown and Vice-Chair Brian Shannon, said the community can’t wait out the terms of these board members, who are responsible for the banning of “quasi-political flags” in classrooms and the firing of Superintendent Joe Morelock without cause in November.

The controversy surrounding the school board is expected to double the voter turnout from the 2019 election. The recall election will take place next Tuesday.

3. PPS bringing back extracurriculars, reducing quarantine time amid staffing shortage

Despite six schools in Portland Public Schools temporarily moving to distance learning through at least Jan. 19, the district announced Tuesday that extracurricular activities, which were initially put on pause, are coming back. This includes both indoor and outdoor sports.

“We are going to be re-implementing limited in-person activity in many of these schools,” Jonathan Garcia, the chief of staff with PPS, said. “We’ll share a little bit more details, but that includes extracurricular activities like sports because the extracurriculars and the likes are crucial to our students.”

According to Garcia, PPS has moved several schools online not because of safety, but due to lack of staffing. On Monday, 390 educators were absent. PPS is set to implement a shorter quarantine period, from 10 days to five days, in accordance with new CDC guidance. They hope this will help with the staffing shortage.

4. Dole recalls bagged salad products over listeria concerns

Due to concerns over listeria contamination, Dole is recalling some of its bagged salads, including those distributed in Oregon and Washington. The recall includes Dole-branded and private-label salads containing iceberg lettuce produced at its Soledad, California, site. The salads included in the recall are identified by a product lot code beginning with the letter “B” and a “Best if Used By” date between Dec. 23, 2021, and Jan. 8, 2022.

Anyone who purchased these products is urged to throw them away immediately. The recall was initiated by Dole after it inspected and tested equipment used in the harvesting of iceberg lettuce and identified listeria monocytogenes. Listeria symptoms include high fever, nausea, headache, stiffness, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

For a list of products distributed in Oregon and Washington that are subject to the recall, click here.

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