New study finds 'substantial' unreported COVID-19 cases, OHA says

Officials say the rate of Oregonians who had evidence of a past infection was 10 times higher than the rate found through conventional testing.

Posted: Aug 14, 2020 11:08 AM
Updated: Aug 14, 2020 12:24 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon Health Authority released a coronavirus study on Friday indicating that a “substantial” portion of Oregonians have had an undiagnosed and unreported case of COVID-19.

The study, authored by OHA epidemiologists, found that 1% of Oregonians that don’t have COVID-19 had evidence of past infection of the virus in their blood.

Officials say this is 10 times higher than the reported rate of infections found through conventional testing.

“We suspected that a much larger segment of Oregon’s population has been exposed to and infected with COVID-19 than traditional diagnostic testing shows,” said Paul Cieslak, M.D., a study co-author and OHA medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations. “But these results also tell us that the great majority of Oregonians remain susceptible to this virus.”

Nine of the 897 blood samples collected form 19 health care facilities across Oregon between May 11 and June 15 contained antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19.

The rates of infection were shown to increase with age, with no antibodies found in the blood of pediatric patients 17 and younger.

Oregon’s first case of coronavirus was diagnosed Feb. 28. Through May 31, 4,243 people had tested positive, but this data doesn’t account for people who did not seek testing.

“Because most of us are still susceptible,” said Cieslak, “we need to keep practicing physical distancing and masking until we have effective vaccines, treatments or other means of mitigating illness.”

Antibodies don’t appear in your blood until two to three weeks after exposure to the virus, Cieslak said. He added at this time experts are not sure if having antibodies ensures protection against COVID-19.

For more information on antibody testing, visit the CDC website.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30801

Reported Deaths: 526
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah6818130
Marion444790
Washington428958
Umatilla291341
Clackamas225661
Malheur152723
Jackson10394
Lane96415
Deschutes76912
Yamhill73814
Jefferson5138
Polk50215
Morrow4886
Lincoln47213
Linn46613
Union4352
Benton2856
Klamath2732
Hood River2450
Wasco2343
Douglas2093
Josephine1832
Columbia1541
Coos1380
Clatsop1170
Baker902
Crook601
Tillamook480
Lake280
Wallowa281
Curry270
Sherman180
Harney120
Gilliam80
Grant80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
Eugene
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 61°
Corvallis
Broken Clouds
57° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 57°
Roseburg
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
North Bend
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 60°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events