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Team-based Rapid Assessment of Community-level coronavirus Epidemics

Corvallis, Oregon aerial view

TRACE-COVID-19 is providing missing information about the percentage of community members carrying the COVID-19 virus. This information is obtained by testing a representative sample of community members, including healthy individuals, some of whom may have the virus but do not show symptoms. The study also is measuring the rate at which the infection is spreading in the community.

The novel coronavirus can be spread silently by infected people who have no symptoms, making it difficult to trace and contain the virus’ spread. This is where TRACE-COVID-19 testing can help. By testing people who have not been tested, OSU scientists can better predict the number of people who are infected but remain undiagnosed. This is providing essential information about the pervasiveness of the virus and the rate at which it is spreading in the community.

TRACE-COVID-19 findings will help Benton, Deschutes, and Lincoln counties and Oregon public health leaders understand how prevalent the virus is and how fast it is spreading in the community, identify infection zones, evaluate the effectiveness of current measures and guide timely further action to control the spread of the disease and minimize its impact.

TRACE-COVID-19 could serve as a model for other communities in Oregon and across the nation that might replicate the OSU study and take advantage of our experience — and the expertise and equipment of local universities — to detect the spread of coronavirus in their communities.

This project was developed in partnership with and has the approval of the Benton, Deschutes, and Lincoln county health departments. It follows CDC, FDA and Oregon Health Authority guidelines.

Funding for this project

Funding for OSU’s TRACE-COVID-19 project is provided by OSU, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and PacificSource Health Plans.