Although Few Homeless People have Coronavirus, Portland is to Resume Clearing Camps

Surving Homelessness in time of Pandemic

Tonda Eisenburg shares a snack with her dog, Bella. Eisenburg camps along Peninsula Crossing Trail with dozens of other people who have clustered there since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.Molly Harbarger/staff

Date: June 1, 2020

Friday morning was warm, and campers along the Pacific Crossing Trail visited with neighbors, dug into sack lunches delivered by volunteers and generally lived life as if they weren’t in the midst of a pandemic.

None were wearing masks, but why would they? Only eight homeless people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Multnomah County, even after homeless campers formed large tent encampments in Old Town, along Interstate 205 and on the North Portland Peninsula pedestrian path.