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Oregon State University officials announced Thursday that traces of COVID-19 have been found during the TRACE project’s wastewater prevalence testing of on-campus residence halls.

In an all students email sent on Nov. 12 by Vice Provost Dan Larson, several residence halls have been found to have trace amounts of the virus, including Sackett, Finley, Buxton, Callahan, Hawley, Poling, Weatherford and the International Living Learning Center. 

Following this announcement, the university strongly encourages that all OSU students immediately avoid all non-essential activities outside their residences and participate in TRACE OSU testing being offered to all students during Nov. 16 -18. 

The university also encourages the community to continue wearing face coverings, engage in social distancing, washing your hands frequently and self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms. 

 Larson sent another all students email Thursday, to introduce a smartphone-based system that would alert users if they have been in close contact with someone testing positive for COVID-19. 

Developed by companies Google and Apple, this information is relayed based upon Bluetooth connections to other devices. This tool is not yet available to the general public; rather, it is in the testing stage in a collaboration between Oregon State University and the Oregon Health Authority. 

Larson describes the tool as a “much-needed technological aid” for the containment of COVID-19. He encourages OSU community members to join in the usage of the OHA pilot in order to protect the community and loved ones. 

Oregon Exposure Notifications will not store or collect personal information or location information of individuals who choose to use this technology. 

If you receive an exposure notification, you can get a free COVID-19 test at OSU in Corvallis, Bend or Newport. If you test positive for COVID-19, you will have the option to anonymously notify other users of the notification system that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

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