Initial results from the Trace COVID-19 project, being conducted by OSU researchers, estimates two cases per every 1,000 Corvallis residents, at least for the moment.
This number causes concern for Trace COVID project leader, Assistant Professor Ben Dalziel, who fears that if reopening is rushed, it could result in a great inflation in the curve.
“Ultimately, these numbers aren’t good news or bad news, but rather they help us understand what the prevalence of the virus is, which is a core component of forecasting and planning public health measures in a community,” said Dalziel.
The initial testing began over the weekend of April 25-26, and another round came this last weekend. In this initial wave of testing, the teams visited 237 houses within 30 blocks census blocks, around 80% agreed to be tested, and 455 total tests were conducted.
During the second weekend of testing the teams were able to conduct nearly double the previous weekend’s tests. Further testing will need to be conducted to have a more accurate picture “This is a snapshot in time, multiple weeks of results will give us a deeper statistical representation of the community’s COVID-19 health and serve as a baseline to see how the prevalence of the virus changes over time.” said Dalziel.
Residents who have been tested are able to receive their test results through mail or through a secured web portal. The Trace COVID-19 project is a partnership between OSU’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and Willamette Valley Toxicology and the project is sharing their data with the Oregon Health Authority.
Based on Corvallis population of 58,641 according to the initial estimate from these results, the number of speculated cases would amount to about 117 in Corvallis. Benton County officials are currently deciding how to include speculated case numbers into the overall case counts. Benton County’s official count currently sits at 39 cases, and 5 deaths.
The testing will continue until at least May 17.
By Sam Schultz