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OSU's TRACE team begins door-to-door testing

OSU is bringing COVID-19 testing to your doorstep.

Posted: Apr 19, 2020 6:01 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State University and Benton County Health Department have joined forces to provide door-to-door COVID-19 testing in the Corvallis community.

Team-based Rapid Assessment of Community-Level Coronavirus Epidemics (TRACE-COVID-19) began its pilot day of testing.

“For public health providers this is like fighting a forest fire without seeing the fire,” Vice President of Oregon State University Relations Steve Clark said. 

The plan is to test 960 people over the next four weeks. That adds up to just under 4,000 residents in Corvallis alone.

“What that’ll do is give us a statistically accurate representation of Corvallis residents that have the virus," Clark said.

Subjects who give consent will complete the nasal swab test themselves as well as answer health-related questions.

The tests are a newly approved method that won't affect the number of tests for health care workers. 

Those who test positive will be notified as well as the Benton County Health Department. All personal information will remain private as part of the study. According to TRACE principal investigator Ben Dalziel the results could come rather quickly.

“We’re aiming for seven to ten days," Dalziel said. "However, the lab test is much quicker than that. So it’s just a question of the volume we’re doing.”

The team went approximately 20 to 30 houses for the pilot test day.

“This is a novel virus and nobody has an idea really on how it moves or spreads," Corvallis resident Gabe Gurule said. "If we can set a good model here hopefully we can replicate that throughout the country.”

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