Self-administered COVID-19 testing kits to be delivered Saturday in Hermiston

OSU researchers will go to homes in Hermiston to deliver test kits

With case numbers surging in eastern Oregon, county and state health officials requested assistance to go door-to-door testing in Hermiston.

Oregon State University has been conducting a program known as TRACE, by assisting counties throughout Oregon to gather testing samples. Trained employees and volunteers will go through Hermiston starting on Saturday, July 25 delivering at-home testing kits to random neighborhoods and homes in town.

“If you see a white van with two OSU flags on it, it’s a darn good thing and we are coming to Hermiston to help,” said Steve Clark, the Oregon State University Relations and Marketing Official.

Clark told KAPP-KVEW the TRACE team will choose random houses within Hermiston city limits. A bilingual employee will also assist with Spanish-only speaking households.

“So community members in Hermiston will have the opportunity to say yes and self-administer a test with a swab. It goes just within the inner nose. It is not the invasive testing you have seen nationally. The team member stays outside and never enters the home. They wait outside for anyone in the household to complete the test and then it is sent to the lab.”

Participants can get their test results within 7 to 10 days. OSU sends the data collected to the Oregon Health Authority from there. The state can then move forward with reporting new cases and conduct contact tracing if necessary.

On Wedensday, Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon increased safety precautions across the entire state.

“This virus is continuing to spread too quickly across the state of Oregon so it is time to make some changes to stop the spread of this disease,” she said at a press conference.

She included a new requirement for children 5-years-old and up to wear masks. She asked parents to assist their children in wearing masks and to teach them the importance of keeping a mask on in public. The governor added a request for children ages 2 through 4 to also wear masks, but it is not required.

For more information about the door-to-door testing, there are a list of frequently asked questions on Oregon State University’s website.