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Study Shows Highest Level Of Virus Prevalence So Far In Corvallis

Chris Lehman

Results of the latest round of COVID-19 prevalence testing in Corvallis show the highest levels there since the project began nearly a year ago.


On the second weekend in March, field workers from Oregon State University's TRACE project went door-to-door in several Corvallis neighborhoods offering free coronavirus tests.  Two-thirds of the households contacted in the study agreed to take part.


The results, said researchers, show that roughly 1.3 percent of Corvallis residents were COVID-19 positive at that time. That’s about four times higher than the previous high back in September. 

TRACE project leaders say it shows that despite progress made in vaccinations, the virus is still circulating in the Corvallis community. Wastewater tests done in tandem with the door-to-door testing show that two neighborhoods near the OSU campus had a much higher concentration of the virus than other parts of the city.


“Continued caution is clearly warranted with this increase in prevalence,” said TRACE co-leader Jeff Bethel, an associate professor in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, in a press release. “Everyone is understandably getting tired of wearing masks and physical distancing, but it’s important that we remain disciplined.”


Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. 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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