PORTLAND — Governor Kate Brown introduced new plans Friday, May 1, for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, two foundational elements of her framework for reopening Oregon safely. Ensuring adequate testing capacity and contact tracing will allow Oregon’s health care system to effectively identify and treat new cases of COVID-19, trace contacts with new cases to identify those at risk for infection, and contain new outbreaks before community spread can occur.
“As we look to reopen Oregon, it’s critical we understand the prevalence of COVID-19 across the state and use science and data to ensure we can safely take steps forward," said Governor Brown. “A strategy of testing and tracing helps us identify who has the disease and who may be at risk of infection — knowledge that is incredibly powerful as we look to reopen."
• Key elements of the testing plan include: Voluntary, widespread testing in partnership with OHSU
• Unified coordination between all hospital labs to optimize Oregon’s available testing capacity, acting as one statewide system which will allocate resources to meet the state’s testing needs in every region
• A focus on collecting data to serve at-risk communities
The plan also expands Oregon’s testing criteria, so that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested within 48 to 72 hours. The plan sets the goal of being able to perform 30 tests per week for every 10,000 Oregonians.
Governor Brown’s contact tracing plan sets a goal of training at least 600 contact tracers, deployed statewide by county, with a focus on recruiting individuals with cultural and linguistic competence for the populations they serve.