Co-Housing During the Coronavirus: What are Seniors Up To?

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Ann Lehman | PDX Commons co-housing, The U-shaped building that residents collectively designed, built, own and manage makes interaction easier. There are walkways in front of the condos.

Even before the pandemic forced everyone to hunker down at home, 79-year-old Fran Rothman decided to move out of a townhouse and live the rest of her life where she would never feel alone.

The retired special education teacher and social worker settled into an arrangement that promised to grant that wish: Collaborating housing, or co-housing, in which everyone in the community agrees to share chores, solve problems and socialize together.

At PDX Commons, a 55 and older complex in Southeast Portland’s Sunnyside neighborhood, Rothman can open the front door of her condo and find camaraderie.

Neighbors she’s known over years of committee meetings and potlucks can be heard singing on their balconies. Folks wave at one another as they move about, and people not seen outside for a while are called to make sure they’re fine.

If it weren’t for COVID-19, the three dozen seniors living here would be looking forward to a dance party with a live rock and roll band. Instead, they continue to keep their distance while watching out for one another.

The U-shaped building they collectively designed, built, own and manage makes interaction easier.

There are walkways in front of the condos on the top three levels and next to the courtyard is a large meeting and dining space. Twice a week, resident foodies using the communal commercial-style kitchen take turns making dinners for everyone.

“Our meals rival Portland restaurants,” says Rothman. “We have great cooks who live here. We’re not talking about a pot of soup.”

Some of the ingredients are harvested from gardens residents tend to on the rooftop deck.

They take the elevator to the ground level to spend time in the library, media room with a big screen TV, or the craft and exercise room. In another wing is a workshop and bike storage as well as a dog-wash station.

Although the sit-down group dinners indoors are now masked affairs in which people bring their own plate to take home to eat, in good weather homeowners can be six feet apart outdoors around a fire pit.

“We all are in this together,” says resident Ann Lehman, 67, of the group that makes decisions by consensus. “The loneliness factor exists but not like for most adults living alone or even a couple by themselves or someone in a nursing home with their own room.”

Lehman says a perk of living with retirees who are regular hikers, bicyclists and campers is she can go for a walk with one of them without planning in advance.

Co-housing requires work

Each co-housing complex is unique, in physical size and configuration to work for the young families or empty nesters, or both, who live there. The private homes could be newly built or remodeled apartments. The communal space could be a multipurpose room or a century-old farmhouse.

The common goal: To coordinate efforts to benefit all.

People living in collaborative spaces buy a unit or sign a lease knowing they will interact often with their neighbors. People who want to control the activity may not like all the committees, writes Charles Durrett in ”Senior Cohousing: A Community Approach to Independent Living-The Handbook.”

Those who benefit desire traditional forms of community and a sense of belonging, according to Durrett.

“Living in community supports resilience,” says Eli Spevak, who lives at Cully Grove, a 16-unit co-housing community in Northeast Portland that his company, Orange Splot, co-developed with Zach Parrish in 2012.

“It also helps to live with people who have a wide range of skill sets, a nice level of trust and the ability to team up on group tasks,” Spevak says, adding these are “all handy things in case of catastrophe, whether that be earthquake, massive power outage or pandemic.”

Oregon has 30 co-housing communities, according to the CoHousing Association of the U.S.

Some are within walking distance of parks, shops, restaurants and grocery stores; others are remote or on acreage. All have a focus on sustainable living, reducing waste and keeping costs down with residents managing the finances and keeping up the property.

PDX Commons’ building, shared areas and private spaces were developed and constructed by Urban Development + Partners based on designs by Works Progress Architecture with residents’ input. J.R. Abbott Construction was the general contractor.

The condos have from 625 to 1,250 square feet of living space. All 27 were sold for between $355,000 and $720,000 before the building was completed in July 2017.

Today, an 846-square-foot condo with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and a north-facing balcony at 4262 S.E. Belmont St. #404 is for sale at $595,000.

Property taxes are $7,300 a year and homeowners association fees, at $557 a month, cover water, garbage pickup, recycling and community Wi-Fi and activities as well as property insurance for the building and a reserve fund.

 PDX Commons is participating in National Cohousing Open House Day on April 24 over Zoom (join in by filling out a contact form at pdxcommons.com/contact.

In agreement

Part of each owner’s continuing responsibilities is to work on committees.

Rothman is a member of the building, grounds and finance committees. One of her jobs is night watch, in which she makes sure outside doors are secured.

Events like a dance party are planned by the FunC (fun committee) and the gift-loan committee sorts out what people are donating or letting the community use, from a kayak to garden sculpture.

A retired nurse and a scientist contributed to the health committee, which sent group emails as facts became known about COVID-19.

When the coronavirus was even more of a mystery, people reacted to fears to different degrees.

“We made sure no one was so alone that they were scared,” says Lehman. “No one has been sick from COVID. Now, we’re struggling to make sure everyone gets vaccinated.”

Residents held Zoom meetings in March 2020 to agree on a code of conduct to reduce the risk of anyone contracting the virus.

As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hands are washed often, surfaces are sanitized and cleaning chores were stepped up.

Families and friends could not visit inside the complex or stay in one of the two shared guest rooms.

Residents with health conditions that made them more susceptible to COVID-19 had groceries delivered or neighbors shopped for them.

“Ultimately, if these are the people you live with, you are not going to jeopardize them,” says Rothman. “We supported everyone’s comfort zone.”

Over the last year, the residents have spent more time together, since no one was traveling, and they learned new skills. Many participated in national co-housing webchats and virtual conferences.

Lehman led yoga classes and other exercise sessions continued even when the teacher couldn’t enter the complex. Birthdays are celebrated by everyone standing on porches and blasting a favorite song on iTunes.

Over time, they formed small social pods with folks on the same floor.

“As we get older, it’s better to live around people than in your own space,” says Rothman. Experts agree that limited social support and stimulation can lead to isolation, which affects physical and mental health.

After Rothman and her partner moved to Portland from Sacramento seven years ago to enjoy the city’s cultural activities, good transportation and closeness to recreational camping area, they lived in a townhouse where neighbors were friendly, but there were no joint activities.

Rothman says a co-housing complex is a place in which relationships can thrive: “Where you can enjoy your neighbors, do things with them and share with them.”

— Janet Eastman | Source here

New Socially-Distanced Venue to Host Waterfront Blues Festival

A Portland events company is poised to turn a former shipyard into a 7-acre outdoor event venue for the summer, with COVID-19 protocols in place.

The Waterfront Blues Festival is a go this summer after it was canceled last year because of the pandemic. The annual festival will have a new home for 2021 and allow much smaller crowds.

It will be a highlight of a whole series of events planned for The Lot at Zidell Yards, a former shipyard being converted into an outdoor venue on Portland’s south waterfront between the Tilikum Crossing and Ross Island bridges.

Fuller Events of Portland has big plans for the space, which is not far from Waterfront Park where the blues fest is usually held.

“Our project is to bring back events safely,” said Christina Fuller of Fuller Events. “We’re building out a socially distant outdoor performance venue knowing that events look different.”

Renderings of the venue show what “different” looks like: pods of space, set apart for small groups to gather.

“So you’ll get the experience of sharing the moment of the live music or the charity auction or the festival, but still within appropriate spacing and the comfort of being around people that you choose to be around,” said Fuller.

Fuller and her husband Tyler are no strangers to Portland’s biggest events.

From the Waterfront Blues Festival to the Rose Festival, Hood to Coast and more, they’ve been involved in making big events go off smoothly. Their goal for 2021 is get back some of what the pandemic took away from event goers and those who work in the industry.

Their plan for The Lot at Zidell Yards includes food service, a stage for performers and an enormous 16-by-30-foot LED screen to highlight lives shows or show movies.

Starting in May with a 300-person limit on the property, they plan to have variety of socially distant events on the site. The “upriver” Waterfront Blues Festival is set for July 2-5 and benefits Meals on Wheels People.

“And so we really encourage people to patronize the blues festival not only because it’s going to be a wonderful event with some terrific musicians, but also that ticket price helps to feed older adults in our community as well,” said Meals on Wheels spokesperson Julie Piper Finley.

Fuller says it will be a highlight of a season of fun, safe events that will bring back the community.

“And we’ll feature local, regional, national artists that folks have known to associate with the blues festival, and we’re just over the moon that we still have a waterfront place just a little bit up the river.”

Other events planned for the venue include Portland Pride, a series of film and music hosted in partnership with Hollywood Theatre and more live music.

Article Source

Grocery Workers, Realtors Among Oregon Front-Line Workers Eligible for Vaccine April 5th

The state announced Friday that people in Group 7 of Phase 1B will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine two weeks earlier than planned.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Kat Granum has worked in the real estate industry for eight years. She says the last year has been the most stressful.

“We’ve been working since the stay-at-home order hit,” she said. “Trying to use all the safety precautions. Masks, gloves when they were recommended.”

Granum has been waiting for her chance to get vaccinated, and it is going to happen sooner than she thought.

Realtors were slated to become eligible for a vaccine in mid-April, but the timeline has been accelerated. Realtors are now eligible for vaccinations beginning April 5.

“I got an email from the Oregon Realtors Association and I immediately told my husband,” Granum said. “I was just really excited to have the opportunity.”

Just as excited as Granum are grocery workers. They, too, can get a vaccine two weeks sooner than expected.

“These workers can’t work from home,” said Miles Eshaia of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 555. “They can’t work remotely. They’ve shown up to work everyday throughout all of this since the beginning. Having access to the vaccine if they want it is a really good thing.”

RELATED: Oregon moves up vaccine eligibility for front-line workers, adults with underlying conditions

There are dozens upon dozens of front-line workers who will become eligible for a vaccine as soon as the first Monday in April. Those working in food service, finance and the legal profession are included in the group.

“In keeping with Oregon’s commitment to equity, this change gives front-line workers and other [Phase 1B, Group 7] populations more time to get vaccinated,” said Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority.

Allen says the state is able to move up the vaccine timeline two weeks early because more and more doses are coming in from the federal government and counties and health providers are making progress vaccinating seniors.

Granum is ready for her shot. She plans to jump online and schedule a vaccine appointment as soon as she is allowed.

“I don’t know if it’s a day my kids get to go to school but if it is, I’ll be on the computer right after they leave.”

 Mike Benner | Source: here

What Might the Future of Live Music Look Like in Portland?

Advocates hope venues will rethink their profit models and center young, diverse talent when the COVID haze clears.

Portland music
Sotaè, Veana Baby, and Rain Ezra performing at Columbia Park. IMAGE: COURTESY CAROLINA NASCIMENTO-TOUTAN

Last summer, after Congress introduced the Save Our Stages Act to create grants for shuttered music venues, fans across the country wrote 2.1 million letters to their representatives asking them to support the bill. The National Independent Venue Association tallied the number of letters from specific jurisdictions, and the result? Oregonians wrote more than anyone else in the country. While the Oregon Shakespeare Festival received the largest grant from the $50 million in federal CARES Act funds distributed in the state, Portland music venues also saw a solid chunk of that money.

“Portland is a music city. Nashville didn’t come through and write millions of letters to their representatives,” says Jim Brunberg, vice president of NIVA and co-owner of Revolution Hall and Mississippi Studios (with just a little exaggeration). “Portland did.”

Now, with COVID keeping venues closed for the foreseeable future, some local experts say the Portland music scene has an opportunity to revisit its priorities when the pandemic ends. The major theme? Loop in young people, and center talent.

In 2015, André Middleton founded Friends of Noise, an organization that hopes to create an all-ages venue centered on young musicians and sound engineers. Last summer, Friends of Noise lobbied the city for CARES funding to create such a venue. It didn’t work out, as funds were already spoken for. Instead, the organization, which in pre-COVID times ran music business and sound engineering workshops for teenagers, has continued to act as a sort of talent agency for emerging musicians. Over the summer, it produced six concerts at local parks featuring young talent (all of whom the organization paid) and did pro bono sound production for about 20 Black Lives Matter protests in the metro area.

There are currently no small all-ages venues in the city. One of the barriers to keeping these clubs open is the labyrinth of rules that regulate alcohol sales in Oregon. Larger venues, like the Roseland and the Crystal Ballroom, have often struck a compromise where adults could buy alcohol if they stood in a specific area. But Middleton argues the business model of most venues, where alcohol sales are a profit center and the entertainers just a hook to draw people in, is fundamentally flawed.

“I would love it if Portland could have an arts venue where the sale of alcohol was secondary to creating a venue for the enjoyment of the artists,” Middleton says.

One option is a public-private partnership, or a local tax subsidizing venues specifically. Ultimately, Middleton wants to open a community venue in East Portland led by musicians color. “Obviously people of color are part of the music ecosystem in Portland, but they don’t get the profits that it generates,” he says.

Meara McLaughlin, executive director of advocacy group Music Portland, says new music business models might include VIP events or subscription services. She also notes the Centers for Disease Control is telegraphing that live music events should have firmer start and end times to allow for cleaning, which could have the unintended benefit of making them more accessible to audiences young and old who need to get up early for work or school. And in the near future, she says, touring isn’t going to be a possibility, so all live music will be local. That means Portlanders need to take extra care to support the local scene. If our letter writing is anything to go on, there’s plenty of reason to believe we will.

By Christen McCurdy

The article source can be found here.

25 Most Affordable Neighborhoods in the Portland Metro Area

An increasingly sought-after characteristic on the part of metro-area buyers has been affordability.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Since the Hottest ‘Hoods project began several years ago, the Business Journal has highlighted the ZIP codes with the most home sales, the fastest-selling homes and, of course, those with the highest-priced homes — measuring all as indicators of residential desirability.

However, an increasingly sought-after characteristic on the part of metro-area buyers has been affordability, something the region once prided itself on compared to other large West Coast cities.

SEE SLIDESHOW: 25 most affordable neighborhoods in the Portland metro area

Therefore, we’ve turned the Hottest ‘Hoods project on its head to highlight the ZIP codes where first-time homebuyers and lower-income buyers might have a better shot at finding a home they can afford. The data is based on 2020 sales data from the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS) and property tax rates obtained from SmartAsset’s Property Tax Calculator.

To do so, we equally weighted the average sale price, the median sale price and the number of homes sold in 2020, along with the relevant county’s property tax rate multiplied by the median sale price. Ranking ties were broken using the lower average sale price.

RELATED: US adds a strong 379,000 jobs in hopeful sign for economy

Of course, a lot of other factors may influence a home’s affordability, such as mortgage interest rates, utility bills, energy efficiency and cost to commute to work, but the index we’ve created gives one a good idea of some of the most affordable places to live in and around Portland.

Despite the pandemic and associated economic recession, home prices have generally continued to rise in the Portland region. According to RMLS data, the average median sale price in 100 metro-area ZIP codes increased 7.8% last year to $459,034. And according to Realtor.com, the median listing price for the metro area reached $525,000 in January of this year, up 9.2% from January of last year when it was $480,748.

RELATED: New Portland economic report shows pandemic has hurt low-income, BIPOC and women the most

recent report by the Oregon Employment Department, examined whether the pandemic made the state’s real estate market any more affordable. In it, regional economist Damon Runberg noted: “In an unexpected turn we have seen a large increase in the demand for housing during this pandemic recession. The high demand has led to historically low inventories of residential real estate for many communities across the state. High demand and low inventory is leading to dramatic home price appreciation, further increasing concerns around housing affordability.”

Stories from KGW reporters:

https://youtu.be/xBqkjFmy9cQ

 Brandon Sawyer (Portland Business Journal)

Source: here

Prepared to be overwhelmed with soooo many plants…………

I am so happy that the days are longer, and my yard is starting to be full of color.  It really has me excited to head out to one of my favorite nurseries that is close to home…..Blooming Junction

Why do my husband and I love Blooming Junction so much?  I love that it is just 10 minutes away from my home, they have soooo many plants, they have a wonderful blog for you to follow, when COVID isn’t here they have done classes and events, plus if you’re interested in doing a CSA – community supported agriculture.

Another thing that we absolutely love about Blooming Junction is the fact that they have a plants on hand list on their website.  This can come in handy when you are wanting to go look for a specific plant and wondering if they have it.  In our house that one plant is purple fountain grass.  I feel in love with this fun grass 8 years ago.  As it grows it produces these fun soft tufts that are just so pretty.  Typically a grass is something that will come back year after year.  Purple fountain grass is not one of those items.  We have to plant it every year and have struggled to find it at times.  Blooming Junction has always had it when we go to look for it.

When we go to visit Blooming Junction we make sure that we have a few hours because the place is so large, and I get overwhelmed that it takes us awhile to pick out the plants that we want.  I find that I find something, then roam and go back.

Another thing that I love is that they have a little grocery style store there with some amazing products.  Many of which are unique and would make great gifts.

Blooming Junction is located at 35105 Zion Church Road, Cornelius, OR or contact them at info@bloomingjunction.com

 

Long Wait Times at PDX Vaccination Clinic Cause Concern

vaccination wait
Wait times reached upwards of two hours Saturday afternoon into the evening at the OHSU COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Portland Airport. March 6, 2021 (Courtesy Photo)

Some people were stuck waiting in line for hours to get their coronavirus vaccine Saturday evening at the Portland Airport clinic.

One woman reached out to KATU News saying that her appointment was scheduled for 4:45 p.m. and was still in line after 7 p.m. Photos she shared showed long lines of cars waiting.

KATU News reached out to OHSU to asked about what caused the back-up and if this sort of wait time was normal.

PAST COVERAGE | Mass vaccination clinics open, but vaccine supply remains low

On Sunday, an OHSU spokesperson responding saying, in this instance, wait times reached up to two and a half hours due to “unexpected delays during the afternoon shift changes and patients arriving hours early or late for their appointments, when the vaccine they were scheduled to receive had not yet been prepared.”

OHSU apologized for any inconveniences the delays created, and said that no vaccines were wasted and no patients were turned away. Anyone was not able to wait was rescheduled to come back on Sunday to be vaccinated.

When asked what a normal wait time was for this vaccination clinic, the spokesperson said it varies, reporting that Sunday morning’s wait times were around 30 minutes.

READ MORE | Coronavirus Coverage

According to OHSU, 5,766 Oregonians were vaccinated at the PDX mass vaccination site and hospital officials expect to vaccinate another 5,600 people on Sunday.

Article source here.

Cheesecake Always Feels So Decedant

I cannot lie, I LOVE cheesecake, and so does my son.  So much so that this child who prefers not to cook unless it can happen in the microwave will actually make cheesecake from scratch!😲For those times when you want cheesecake but do not want to make it from scratch this week’s local business of the week has you covered – Zoe Ann’s Cheesecake

Owner Zoe Ann who everyone calls Zoe bakes all of the cheesecakes herself.  She believes in quality over quantity.  The reason she choose to start baking cheesecakes is that she believed a product that tasted AMAZING would make people happy.

In today’s world where everyone is watching what they eat, Zoe Ann knows that there are times when people want to splurge and when they do what they splurge on should taste amazing and use good ingredients.  For this reason Zoe Ann uses Philadelphia brand cream cheese, butter, fresh heavy cream, nuts, liqueurs, pure extracts and fresh fruit.  While these ingredients cost more she knows that they are what makes her cheesecakes taste so good!

She says, ” For instance, in our Coconut Cream  cheesecake, we crack fresh coconuts, and use macadamia nuts in the  crust. (Well, okay, I don’t personally crack the coconuts, my husband  does that!) Our cheesecakes might seem a bit pricey, but when you  consider the ingredients and labor involved in each and every flavor we  offer, they are actually a good deal. Our cheesecakes are rich, creamy,  and very satisfying. They are baked in small batches to ensure quality. I  truly mean it when I use the phrase, quality over quantity, to describe  my baking and business philosophy.”

 

All I can say is that, that coconut cream cheesecake sounds like something that needs to get in my belly (so long as it’s gluten free).  So, the next time you’re sweet tooth is screaming at you give Zoe Ann’s Cheesecakes a try, and let me know what you think.

PCC Share President Mitsui Talks AI and Its Potential in a Post-Pandemic World

To those who fear it, AI marks the dawning of robots taking over the world. Others see AI as a time, money and energy saver.

 

You talk to your phone to set a reminder, play music, search the internet or navigate to a destination.

You worry about typing errors. Autocorrect has you covered.

You order a movie online and soon see other recommendations you may enjoy.

These are everyday examples of artificial intelligence, or AI, a collection of algorithms that enable machines to sense, reason, act, and adapt like the human mind would.

To those who fear it, AI marks the dawning of robots taking over the world. Others see AI as a time, money and energy saver.

In June 2019, Oregon’s Workforce and Talent Development Board established a statewide task force. Its charge is to focus on AI education and training. Co-chaired by board members Mark Mitsui, president of Portland Community College, and K.S. Venkatraman, senior director of AI computing architecture with graphics processing chip manufacturer NVIDIA, the task force comprises several private, public and educational partners.

Then COVID-19 struck.

Oregon and the nation entered into a recession virtually overnight. The state lost 272,000 jobs in two months, wiping out six years of job growth. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate soared from the lowest on record to the highest in a single month.

The long path to recovery began in May as restrictions were relaxed and businesses adjusted. By July, the state had regained nearly 40 percent of the jobs lost in the early months of the pandemic. But job loss was disproportionate in its impact, affecting women and people of color, as well as low-income and rural communities the most.

“It’s hard to see the silver lining when disaster strikes,” said Mitsui, “but the pandemic will accelerate the pace of AI innovation. If our policy response is equity-based and includes a pathway to new careers through postsecondary education, we could have an opportunity to help level the playing field, re-skilling a highly diverse, highly displaced workforce who lost their jobs due to COVID.”

Venkatraman added, “AI will create dislocations, but history has shown that new technology is the engine of economic growth. More jobs were created with every major economic shift, from the industrial age, to the computer age, to the Internet era. AI will augment many jobs, and create new opportunities, improving productivity and enhancing our quality of life.”

The task force produced a comprehensive report with recommendations based on national and international research pointing to the potential of AI. Experts from sectors influencing Oregon’s economy contributed to it. The document also included a section on climate change, a burgeoning area for AI, that can assist with forecasting fires and floods, and reducing carbon emissions enabling the transition to renewable energy.

The task force submitted its recommendations to Gov. Kate Brown and the legislature, which underscore a commitment to equity, highlight outcomes-based funding and incentives, note the importance of private-public sector relationships, and outline criteria necessary to create AI programs leading to degrees and certificates at all Oregon universities and community colleges.

“If we follow this ‘recipe,’ Oregon will attract AI businesses because we’ll be developing the talent pool they need,” said Mitsui. “We’ll also be equipping Oregonians, particularly those historically marginalized communities at greatest risk of displacement by AI, with the skills, knowledge and abilities necessary to succeed in the fourth industrial revolution.”

Article source: here

How to Schedule COVID-19 Vaccines in Oregon as Seniors 80 and Older Become Eligible

Covid vaccine
Kelli Newcom, R.N., preps vials of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to teachers and educators at The Oregon Convention Center on January 27, 2021, in Portland.Brooke Herbert/The Oregonian

 As of Monday morning, Oregonians ages 80 and older are now eligible for vaccines against COVID-19, making older residents the newest group to gain access to protection against the coronavirus.

State officials acknowledged last week that the sign-up process for seniors could bring chaos, and that was true early Monday.

The Oregon Health Authority did not make clear when the online system would begin allowing appointment scheduling, prompting frustration among some who stayed up late or woke up early. Some state officials were under the impression scheduling wouldn’t go live until noon. But the site began booking appointments at about 9 a.m. Monday, with the first availability for shots Wednesday at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

As older Oregonians begin to make their way to vaccinations sites around the state, here are five important things to know about getting that much-awaited protection against COVID-19.

1. Only seniors 80 and older will be eligible, for now.

Monday marks the first of four phases to vaccinate seniors in Oregon this winter. People ages 75 and older will be eligible in the next phase starting Feb. 15, followed by people 70 and older on Feb. 22, and people 65 and older on March 1.

State officials are asking for patience and ask that only people who are eligible seek appointments in the coming days. The state announced Friday that it would debut a new tool on its covidvaccine.oregon.gov website this week that allows users to sign up to get email alerts or text notifications about vaccine events in their area.

2. Make an appointment online.

Eligible seniors can make an appointment online by going to covidvaccine.oregon.gov. In the center of the page there’s a link that says, “Vaccine Eligibility & FAQ Tool” with a button that says, “Let’s Get Started.” That option prompts a chat service that can help determine if you’re eligible and redirect to an appointment page if so.

The first appointments for seniors should become available online at 9 a.m. Monday, according to Washington County Health and Human Services.

It appears the online system may be the preferred, if not only, means of signing up.

“People who don’t have internet access or a smartphone, may get a family member, friend or neighbor, or reach out to a community or faith group they are part of to register for them,” Multnomah County officials wrote.

If you need assistance by phone, call 2-1-1. Seniors can also send an email to ORCOVID@211info.org, or text the message ORCOVID to the number 898211 to begin a conversation about scheduling an appointment.

3. Don’t expect to get an appointment right away.

Luck may play a role in how quickly you’re able to get an appointment. Some may be able to book one right away, while many others will have to wait several weeks to make an appointment, let alone get vaccinated. Factors will include where you live, how many others around you are eligible at the same time, and how quickly you navigate the online system.

Public health officials have warned that this week could bring “chaos,” as the state still suffers from inadequate vaccine supply to meet the increased demand.

4. Vaccination locations will vary by county, many will take place at mass clinic sites.

Oregon’s most populous counties have set up mass clinics to dole out the vaccines. Two such clinics at the Oregon Convention Center and Portland International Airport will serve many in the Portland metropolitan area, while the Oregon State Fairgrounds will serve those in the Salem area.

Local pharmacies will eventually be able to offer vaccinations in some Oregon counties, including this coming week. Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said Friday that the state will receive 13,000 doses this week bound for 133 different pharmacies. Further details have not yet been announced.

5. The vaccines are safe and effective, though mild side effects are common.

Trials have shown that both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are extremely effective, preventing COVID-19 illness in more than 94% of non-infected people after receiving two doses.

The vaccines are also extremely safe for the vast majority of people who receive them. Side effects are normal after receiving the vaccine, including pain and swelling at the site of the site of the injection, with fever, chills, fatigue and headaches all possible as well. Studies have shown that most people will only have mild or moderate cases, and that severe side effects are rare.

To reduce pain in your arm, apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth at the site of the injection, or exercise your arm, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. It’s OK to take over-the-counter pain medications to relieve other symptoms, but DO NOT take it before the injection (unless advised by your doctor), as the medication could reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine, the AARP warned Friday.

By 

The original article can be found here.