TRACE Testing Expands Eastward, To Hermiston

Jul 23, 2020

Oregon State University’s prevalence testing for the coronavirus is expanding into northeast Oregon for the first time this weekend.

In the TRACE project, researchers from OSU go door-to-door offering free COVID-19 tests. The goal is to blanket a community with testing in order to determine the prevalence of the virus that causes the disease.

TRACE is a contactless testing program. Field workers instruct residents how to self-administer the test. The photo is from a demonstration of the program in Corvallis.
Credit Oregon State University

The project kicked off in Corvallis in April, and has since gone to Bend and Newport. Now, it’s making its first visit to Hermiston.

It’s the largest city in Umatilla County, which has the highest per capita rate of positive coronavirus tests of any county in Oregon. It’s also the first set of testing being done in a city where OSU doesn’t have a significant local presence.

“Understanding the spread of coronavirus is crucial to getting a handle on the disease that has impacted our Hermiston community so greatly,” said Hermiston Mayor Dave Drotzmann in an OSU press release.

The school said unlike previous rounds, which were funded by private donors, the Hermiston testing will be paid for by the state of Oregon.