Benton County Officials Anticipate Increased COVID-19 Cases

Benton County Officials Anticipate Increased COVID-19 Cases 

The Benton County Health Department is preparing for a possible increase in positive COVID-19 cases due to increased COVID-19 testing through the TRACE-COVID-19 project 

New local effort to find cases: TRACE-COVID-19 is a public health project being conducted by Oregon State University researchers to gather timely and lifesaving information about the prevalence and spread of the virus causing COVID-19 in Corvallis. Members of OSU’s TRACE-COVID-19 team will visit a set of neighborhoods in Corvallis and invite residents to be tested for COVID-19, which began last week.  

Trained workers, practicing social distancing, will be going door-to-door to test for the virus that causes COVID-19.. Participants in the study will have access to their test results once researchers have conducted the screening and verified results. Testing results will be reported to the Benton County Health Department and included in their case counts, equivalent to all other positive test results.  

The study is being conducted because there is strong evidence that the virus is capable of being spread by individuals who are unaware, they are infected. Data about what fraction of the population is infected, without symptoms, will help public health officials make more informed decisions. Information collected will be key to slowing the spread of the disease, saving lives, decreasing pressure on clinics and hospitals, and reducing the health and economic impact of COVID-19.  

“Research studies like this have been used for many years with many illnesses to provide medical and public health authorities with this type of essential information,” said Charlie Fautin, Interim Health Department Co-Director. “Benton County Health Department is extremely fortunate have OSU’s energetic and talented researchers in our community. We welcome the opportunity to not only learn more about COVID-19 in our area, but to support a project that is trying to add a critical element to global knowledge and understanding of this new and challenging disease.”  

For more information on TRACE-COVID-19, please visit https://trace.oregonstate.edu or call 541-713-0450.  

Benton County will continue to provide daily case count updates Monday through Friday at 1:00 p.m., at www.co.benton.or.us/coronavirus. For statewide case counts, https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19