Two deaths during recent cold weather under investigation as possible hypothermia

January 3, 2022

The Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating two possible hypothermia deaths during the recent cold weather. 

One person, a man experiencing homelessness, was admitted to the hospital on December 29th and died December 30th.  A second man died on January 1, 2022. This individual was housed. These deaths are in addition to one confirmed death from hypothermia that occurred Dec. 25. 

Multnomah County and the City of Portland declared a state of emergency Dec. 23 as the region braced for a prolonged stretch of freezing temperatures and snow. Severe weather shelters opened Dec. 25. At their peak, shelters hosted 550 people, operating with support from nearly 800 people who filled more than 1,500 shifts.

Although milder temperatures returned by Jan. 2, winter is just beginning. The Joint Office of Homeless Services, along with Multnomah County and City of Portland emergency operations, will continue to monitor conditions throughout the winter and open severe weather shelters when certain thresholds are met.

If you see someone outside unsheltered whose life appears to be seriously in danger or is in an apparent medical crisis, call 9-1-1.

If you see someone about whom you are concerned, such as an individual who is not dressed appropriately for the weather conditions, call the non-emergency line at 503-823-3333 and request a welfare check for that person.

To help someone find shelter and arrange transportation to shelter during cold or severe weather, please call 2-1-1.