LA GRANDE — Results from a mass testing event of all on-campus Eastern Oregon University students ahead of the upcoming school year showed that seven students of the close to 900 tested positive for COVID-19, the university announced in a press release Thursday, Sept. 24.
“This was a huge event to pull together, and was led by EOU’s Student Affairs staff with volunteers from across campus,” Vice President for University Advancement Tim Seydel said in the release. “Students also did a great job in self-isolating before arriving on campus and following guidelines to lower their risk of exposure.”
In all, 881 students participated in the testing event, which took place Monday, Sept. 21. The students who tested positive, as well as anybody who was in contact with them, are following the guidelines requiring 14 days of quarantine, according to the release.
Of the tests conducted Monday, the positive test rate was 0.79%. That is almost six times lower than the state’s positive rate, which as of Thursday was 4.67% according to the Oregon Health Authority’s website, and 10 times lower than the national rate, which Friday was 7.91% according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In all, EOU has conducted 1,033 tests for COVID-19 and has a positive rate of 0.97%. Ten students have tested positive since they returned to campus. The three additional positive tests came in early September, according to the school’s online coronavirus dashboard. An 11th student tested positive during the summer.
The school plans to begin holding several of its in-person classes Monday, but also is providing remote-access learning. The Center for Human Development, La Grande, reported four new cases of COVID-19 in Union County the last two days, moving the overall total in the county reported by the CHD to 443. Oregon Health Authority information puts the positive test rate for the count at 10.38%.
As of deadline Friday, it wasn’t known if the EOU test results were included in the latest CHD data.
The OHA Friday reported the state’s highest COVID-19 count to date with 457 new cases. The total was pushed higher in put due to an outbreak of 79 cases at Pacific Seafood in Clatsop County. Five counties — Clatsop, Multnomah, Marion, Washington and Lane — reported at least 50 cases.
The spike in cases moved the state’s overall total to 32,314, and three new reported deaths increased the number to 542. The latest numbers from the CDC showed 6,958,632 cases nationwide as of Friday afternoon, with 202,329 deaths attributed to the virus. The survival rate of known cases in the U.S. is 97.09%.