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OSU’s COVID-19 Prevalence Study Coming To Central Oregon

Oregon State University

People in Bend could discover someone knocking on their door this weekend offering them a coronavirus test.

It’s part of a study by Oregon State University to estimate the prevalence of COVID-19 in a community. Researchers from the school tested households in several Corvallis neighborhoods earlier this spring. They estimate about one person in a thousand in that city has been infected with the virus.

Now, the so-called “TRACE Team” is setting sights on Bend. OSU spokesman Steve Clark says it’s completely voluntary, and participants will have minimal contact with the researchers. “It’s really the family members that test themselves," he said. "Our TRACE team volunteers remain outside a household.”

Clark says the testing is free to those who agree to take part. The team hopes to collect about 650 samples from random neighborhoods in Bend.

In Corvallis, OSU says about 78 percent of households contacted through the program agreed to a test. The TRACE team will conduct another weekend of testing in Corvallis in June, to see if the partial re-opening of Benton County following coronavirus-shutdowns has led to an increased prevalance of the virus in the community.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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