OSU faculty, staff and students,
I would like to thank everyone who participated in move-in days from Sept. 18-22. This was truly a team effort that for the first time included COVID-19 testing of all entering OSU residential students in Corvallis and Bend.
I especially would like to thank the housing and dining services staff at both campuses, staff from Corvallis Student Health Services and OSU-Cascades Health Advising, and many Corvallis and Bend campus volunteers. I also would like to recognize the collaboration of OSU’s TRACE COVID-19 testing team and the support of the Benton County Health Department and Deschutes County Health Services. Without their collaboration and expert guidance, the comprehensive testing of our OSU residential students would not have been possible.
Throughout the five days, 2,089 tests were conducted prior to students moving into Corvallis residence halls with only students 28 testing positive – 1.34%. At OSU-Cascades, we tested 137 students through Tuesday and had zero cases testing positive. Thirteen of the Corvallis students testing positive opted to return home to be isolated, while 15 other students opted to be isolated in a designated UHDS residence location with assistance provided during their stay by appropriate personnel. In each case where positive results were discovered, the individual was asymptomatic.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Sept. 28, we will launch random weekly TRACE OSU testing on our Corvallis and OSU-Cascades campuses and at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Testing will continue throughout fall term and will include weekly wastewater analysis for the virus that causes COVID-19 on both campuses, at HMSC and in the Corvallis, Bend and Newport communities. Here is a link to enroll.
Once again, I want to thank all staff, students and faculty for their participation in testing and their dedicated efforts and expertise in making this unique move-in experience a great success.
These pre-emptive testing efforts will help contribute to a healthier and safer community, and will provide valuable information to those working to put an end to this global pandemic.
F. King Alexander