Corvallis, Oregon, is taking a unique approach to see how COVID-19 has spread through its community: researchers will be going door to door to randomly selected houses to ask people to test themselves with nasal swabs.
WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A college town in Oregon is embarking on a groundbreaking effort to measure the hidden spread of COVID-19 within the community, thanks to the local university.
Oregon State University (OSU) researchers will fan out across Corvallis during the next four weekends, going to randomly selected houses and asking folks inside to provide nasal samples for testing.
The TRACE COVID-19 project is one of the first efforts in the nation to attempt to assess an entire community's COVID-19 activity, officials said.
The team hopes to have just under 4,000 samples by the end, enough to paint a statistically accurate picture of how widespread the COVID-19 virus has become in the town of 58,641, said OSU spokesman Steve Clark.
"We'll have an indication of the presence of the virus among those who are symptomatic and asymptomatic," Clark said. "This will give a community-wide profile of Corvallis' COVID health."
The effort is aimed at providing the kind of data that Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will need to have in hand when planning how to reopen the state from its weeks-long lockdown, Clark said.