To: OSU Community
From: Dan Larson, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, OSU COVID-19 Response Coordinator
September 30, 2020
OSU community members,
As you know, TRACE OSU is conducting weekly random COVID-19 testing of up to 1,000 faculty, staff and students and wastewater analysis to monitor the presence of the virus at our campuses in Corvallis and Bend and at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
I am writing to share that recent wastewater sampling in Corvallis indicates that the virus may be present in Sackett residential hall on campus and the university-affiliated GEM apartment building, 155 N.W. Kings Blvd. As of Sept. 27, the only other Corvallis campus residence hall that showed presence of the virus is a residence hall reserved exclusively for isolating students who have tested positive for COVID-19.
In response to these wastewater results, TRACE OSU will conduct immediate additional COVID-19 diagnostic testing today, Sept. 30, to determine if OSU students residing in these affected buildings currently bear the virus. Students living in these locations were notified this morning by personal e-mail from TRACE OSU. Students choosing to not be tested will be required to quarantine for 14 days at home, in the university’s quarantine/isolation spaces or a single room at The GEM.
Occurrences such as this are why we have TRACE OSU.
These wastewater results are an early indicator and prompt us to investigate further. We are prepared to respond with rapid targeted diagnostic testing of possibly affected OSU community members; support contact tracing with Benton County; provide on-campus isolation and quarantine, as advised; provide student support services; and continue weekly TRACE OSU sampling and wastewater analysis.
Today’s diagnostic testing is being done out of an abundance of caution. At this time, we are not able to estimate the number of possible individual cases from wastewater analysis of a specific building. By way of background, similar levels of the virus were seen in the larger Corvallis community’s wastewater the third week of July. They later subsided.
While students await the results of their tests, we will ask that they exercise extra personal and public health caution by practicing these public health measures:
Avoid unnecessary interactions with others and refrain from engaging in errands away from their residence;
Wear face coverings;
Observe physical and social distancing;
Wash their hands frequently;
Self-screen daily for COVID-19 symptoms and remain isolated if not feeling well;
For those with any symptoms or who are not feeling well, contact their primary care provider or call the Student Health Services Medical Advice Nurse Line at 541-737-2724, or call 541-737-9355 for an appointment (including telehealth).
These same public health measures should be part of each of our daily routines.
We will communicate further information regarding the results of these diagnostic tests and weekly TRACE OSU sampling and wastewater analysis on the TRACE website.
Thank you for continuing to do your part to contribute to a safer and healthier community.
We are all in this together.
Vice Provost for Student Affairs, OSU COVID-19 Response Coordinator