In Response To COVID-19 Outbreak, OSU Prevalence Study Expands To Newport

Jun 15, 2020

Oregon State University says it plans to expand its door-to-door coronavirus testing project to a community on the Oregon coast that’s been hard-hit by COVID-19.

TRACE team members during the pilot phase of the project on April 20, 2020 in Corvallis. This image shows a demonstration of the testing process.
Credit Karl Massdam / Oregon State University

Lincoln County was largely spared during the first few months of the pandemic. But an outbreak that infected more than 100 people at a seafood processing facility in Newport has spread to other workplaces, and public health officials are scrambling to contain it.

Now, one tool they can use comes via Oregon State University, which says it will bring its TRACE project to Newport this weekend. It’s a way to test for the prevalence of COVID-19 in a given area.

Researchers go door-to-door in random neighborhoods and offer free coronavirus tests. In Corvallis and Bend, roughly two-thirds of households who were contacted agreed to take part.

The results can shed light on how much the virus has spread in a community. Results are available in seven to ten days.

“It’s important to collaborate with Lincoln County health officials and the Newport community to better understand what’s happening in real time with the virus on a local level,” said Ben Dalziel, assistant professor in the College of Science at OSU and co-director of the project.