Teams from Oregon State University and the University of Oregon recently partnered to test a random sample of residents in Eugene– for COVID-19. The results are in.
Over November 7th and 8th, 463 Eugenians said ‘yes’ to take a self-administered, nasal swab test from their doorstep. Of those samples, there were zero positive results for SARS-Cov-2.
Scientists at OSU– and two other universities unaffiliated with the TRACE project– sussed out the current data on the incidence of COVID-19 infections in the city. They estimate a prevalence of 5 infected people per 1,000.
“Now, this may seem low– but prevalence only indicates how relatively abundant the virus is in the target population.”
OSU’s Jeff Bethel is co-director of TRACE and a professor of epidemiology. He said these results- and the pandemic in general- really come down to a numbers game. “The more people you’re around, the greater the odds of encountering an infected person.”
Eugene has a population of 172,000, nealy half of Lane County’s populus. COVID-19 cases have surged in recent weeks with the majority identified in the Eugene/Springfield area. Thus far in the pandemic, there have been over 3,600 cases and 37 deaths related to the virus in Lane County.
Bethel hopes to take the TRACE project on the road to more Oregon cities.