March 16, 2020
The Portland Community Free Clinic is housed at the India Street Health Center, part of the Department of Public Health of the City of Portland. Last Friday, March 13th, we learned that a staff person who works in the building tested positive for COVID-19. The last time the person had been at work at India Street was March 10; they had been out sick for the rest of the week and were tested for corona virus on March 12th–the results came back 16 hours later.
The City Manager and other staff immediately made the decision to close the building for 14 days. All employees, patients and volunteers who came in contact with the staff person who tested positive have been contacted are in self-isolation for 14 days. I have contacted our other volunteers and patients who were seen recently to update them on the situation.
Because the India Street Health Center is closed, the PCFC is also closed. All appointments for March 16-27 have been cancelled. I have tried to reach out and call everyone affected by this closure but if you didn’t get a call from me, send me a message through this contact form, with your number, and I will be in touch. You can also call and leave a message on the PCFC phone: 207-874-8982. I am checking voice mail several times a day. We are re-scheduling appointments starting March 30th.
If you are concerned that you might have COVID-19, these are the important signs to be looking for:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
Many people also complain of headache and “aches and pains”–classic flu-type symptoms. Vomiting and diarrhea are generally not associated with COVID-19. If you are having symptoms and would like further information, please call the clinic and I will get back to you.
In the meantime, I ask everyone to wash their hands, use tissues and sanitizer, and stay away from crowds.
Leslie H. Nicoll, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN
Coordinator, Portland Community Free Clinic