Lane County tests 90 at temporary shelters; no positive cases

The goal of the program is to collect a sample size from vulnerable populations to better understand COVID-19's spread in those communities.

Posted: May 7, 2020 6:54 PM

EUGENE, Ore -- A total of 90 people at the temporary shelters at the Lane Events Center and Memorial Building in Springfield have been tested for COVID-19, but Lane County Public Health officials hope to test everyone staying there.

The testing at the temporary shelters is part of the Lane County Public Health's sentinel testing program. The goal of the program is to collect a sample size from vulnerable populations to better understand COVID-19's spread in those communities.

Spokesman Jason Davis said they are testing people who don't even have symptoms and the data will allow them to focus their response, identity trends and outbreaks.

Davis said they still need to test 70 people in the temporary shelters and are offering them incentives like socks and other goods to get it done voluntarily. Davis said so far no one has tested positive at the shelters.

Stuart Anderson has been staying at Lane Events Center since the shelter opened. He's grateful for the opportunity to get tested.

"There is so much wandering per se of the mind going on, you know," Anderson said. "So much ifs and maybes and so some solidity of do you have it or not is a benefit regardless."

Davis said they plan to expand the program to other shelters later this week. He said starting next week, they will also be testing staff and residents at some long-term care facilities like nursing homes. The testing program for the Latino population is expected to start a week after that.

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Data is updated nightly.

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