OSU Will Conduct Prevalence Testing For Students, Faculty And Staff

May 12, 2020

Oregon State University says it will expand its prevalence testing for the coronavirus as part of its plan to resume on-campus operations later this year.

OSU isn’t committing to an exact opening date, but it says under a best-case scenario, many campus functions would resume by around Labor Day weekend. The fall term is slated to begin September 23.

Credit Hal Hermanson / KLCC

Part of the re-opening plan is to test students, faculty and staff to get an estimate of the rate of infection at each of the school’s campuses. It doesn’t mean everyone at the school has to be tested.

“But we would do statistically accurate sampling to provide an indication of the prevalence of the virus, and whether or not it’s changing,” said Steve Clark, Vice-President of University Relations for Oregon State University.

"And by doing that, that will provide the university and local public health officials information that they can utilize to assist us in monitoring not only the health of our university community, but also in responding as needed to advance other public health measures."

OSU is already using a similar methodology to measure how far the virus has spread in the city of Corvallis. The strategy drew national media attention.