PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Check your mailbox. You may be one of 150,000 Oregon residents randomly picked for an OHSU research study about COVID-19 and efforts to re-open the state.
The Key to Oregon study, announced May 1 by Gov. Kate Brown, is a joint effort by OHSU, the state of Oregon and the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. The statewide COVID-19 research study will inform the approach for reopening Oregon.
The postcards for the Key to Oregon should be arriving in mailboxes in a few days, officials with OHSU said. If you get one, you’ll then get a follow-up letter with more details about the study.
The 150,000 postcards will hit a cross-secton of the state that represents the geographic diversity, socioeconomic status and people of color. Everyone in the household who is over 18 is eligible to take part in the study, which is totally voluntary.
“Because we’re monitoring individual’s symptoms we are able to find them more rapidly before they get so sick they have to go to a hospital,” said OHSU epidemiologist Dr. Jackie Shannon. “That’s a little too late because they’ve already engaged with large number of individuals, spread the disease further and we have a large outbreak on our hands.”
OHSU officials said they hope to get 100,000 people to take part in the study which will check the infection patterns with testing and real-time mapping over a 12-month period. Anyone who shows symptoms will get a home test kit and be referred to the appropriate medical professionals for follow up.
The stated goal for the Key to Oregon study is “to get people back to school and work faster while avoiding a second wave of infections.”