Multnomah County and Portland Community College are partnering to open a new flu shot and COVID-19 testing clinic at PCC’s Cascade Campus in North Portland.
The new clinic is a part of Multnomah County’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health, or REACH, program.
The program started in 2014 with a $3 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the county. It works to end health disparities within Black communities and other communities of color.
“Multnomah County’s REACH Program works to support a culture of Black health,” REACH program manager Charlene McGee said in a statement. “We want to help people protect themselves, their families and their community.”
The REACH program already has other low-barrier COVID-19 testing sites at the East County Health Center, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization and Latino Network’s Rockwood location.
According to the most recent data from Multnomah County’s regional COVID-19 dashboard, which also includes data from Clackamas, Washington and Yamhill counties, communities of color continue to be disproportionately represented in coronavirus cases.
For example, even though Hispanic community members make up 11% of the population in those four counties, they make up 33% of positive COVID-19 cases, according to the data.
In contrast, white community members make up 72% of the population, but they only make up 38% of coronavirus cases.
With those disproportionate impacts in mind, although anyone is invited to schedule an appointment, the clinic will prioritize people of color and people without health insurance or a regular health care provider.
Flu vaccines and COVID-19 testing will be offered at the new clinic every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., starting Dec. 2 and continuing through the end of March. The clinic has the capacity to serve about 200 people each week.
People are invited to call and schedule an appointment at 503-988-8939, and then drive through, bike or walk up to the clinic and receive a free flu shot. COVID-19 testing will also be available for free for anyone who has symptoms or who has had recent close contact with someone with COVID-19.
“Portland Community College is proud to partner with Multnomah County and offer flu vaccines and COVID testing, especially as pandemic cases continue to spike in Oregon,” Brooke Loyd, Emergency Preparedness manager with PCC, said in a statement. “Our collaboration will help to protect the most vulnerable Oregonians as we head into the winter months.”
PCC has posted the news of the new clinic on the college’s website, and officials say they are encouraging students to attend.
This story was originally posted on Oregon Public Broadcasting.