Portland, OR

Portland Daily Round Up: New COVID-19 testing, vaccination sites open, Portland businesses report ongoing break-ins

Emily Scarvie

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By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Monday, Jan. 24 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. New COVID-19 testing, vaccination sites open on Monday

Starting Monday, two COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics are opening in Portland, expanding availability in the community. The Portland Expo Center, now operated by the Oregon Health Authority, is reopening as a “no appointment needed” drive-thru testing and vaccination site. Oregon Health & Sciences University has opened a drive-thru PCR testing clinic at a parking garage on its campus, by appointment only.

OHSU is also opening a community vaccination clinic on the first floor of its Center for Health and Healing Building starting Monday. Appointments for both the PCR testing site and vaccination clinic are available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2. Portland bars, restaurants report rampant break-ins

Portland business owners are reporting widespread break-ins and some worry about staying open amid frequent repair costs. Nate Tilden, who owns several Portland restaurants, told KATU he’s seeing break-ins, even when staff leave nothing of value behind.

“It’s a crowbar at three in the morning, or a brick through a window. And then they take an iPad, which they can sell for $20. The door that got hit here at Bar Casa Vale two weeks ago is a $5,000 door,” Tilden said.

According to Tilden, repair costs could take down a business amid already thin margins and decreased foot traffic during the pandemic. He told KATU he’s increased security at his restaurants, with new alarms and cameras. The Wurst, on East Burnside, said they've done the same amid an increase in crime.

3. OHA holding 2 public hearings on proposed mask mandate, vaccine requirements

On Monday, the Oregon Health Authority is holding two public hearings on proposed masking and COVID-19 vaccination requirements. The first hearing, which will focus on masking requirements in schools and vaccination requirements for teachers and staff, begins at 9 a.m. The second hearing will take place at 2 p.m. and focus on masking and vaccination requirements for healthcare workers.

The public hearings come after OHA proposed a “permanent” mask mandate for indoor public spaces, meaning there would be no expiration date on the mandate and health officials would terminate it once no longer necessary. The current mask mandate expires Feb. 8.

OHA held its first public hearing on the proposal last Thursday and several Oregonians shared their strong opposition. However, OHA says vaccinations and masking are still two of the most important tools the state has in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

4. Fire damages 100-year-old historic building in Gresham

A Monday morning fire in Gresham has damaged a nearly 100-year-old historic building used by the city’s Chamber of Commerce. The fire reportedly broke out around 2 a.m. and began in front of the building before moving inside. In order to control the fire, firefighters were forced to break windows to reach the flames.

The building, built in 1923, is located across the street from Gresham High School and also houses the Walker Travel Agency and a Gresham visitor center. Gresham police said a 43-year-old woman has been arrested in connection to the fire.

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