During Oregon State University’s seventh round of COVID-19 sampling throughout Corvallis—TRACE volunteers found evidence of the virus at similar levels seen at the start of the pandemic.
Even with a strong majority of the Corvallis community vaccinated, SARS-CoV-2 is still in the community, TRACE researchers said.
On June 5 and 6, 500 nasal swabs were gathered at 345 households. Results suggest three people per 1,000 in the community carried the virus on those days.
The groundbreaking TRACE-COVID-19 public health project kicked off in April 2020 when the prevalence estimate was two cases per 1,000. The highest was in March of this year-with a 13-per-1,000 estimate.
In this latest round, participants were invited to provide saliva samples for antibody testing. Those results are still pending.
Teams from Samaritan Health Services were also on hand to offer vaccinations. They administered five doses at doorsteps.
“There were only 21 TRACE participants over the age of 12 who had not already received at least one dose prior to our survey,” said TRACE project leader Ben Dalziel, an assistant professor in the OSU College of Science. “Among the 16 who did not request a vaccine, some may have had factors that precluded them from getting one. If someone declined, we didn’t ask why.”
Dalziel added, “We keep saying, everyone needs to remain vigilant and practice many of the same safety measures we’ve been urging for more than a year. SARS-CoV-2 is still with us.”