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A TRACE volunteer holds envelopes

Thank you for participating in monitoring in the OSU community through the TRACE-OSU project for the virus that causes COVID-19. We are conducting this public health surveillance project to monitor the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections among OSU faculty, staff and students. The primary goal of this project is to provide local public health authorities and university leadership information on an ongoing basis about COVID-19 in the OSU community to better inform public health control measures and the university’s resumption.

What was my test result?

We did not detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the sample you provided.

What does this result mean?

A negative test result should be interpreted with caution. It is important to note that a significant proportion of negative tests for COVID-19 may be false negatives. This means that you could still be carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus even though your test was negative. False negatives also could occur by testing too early from when a person has contracted the illness, if the sample obtained was inadequate, or for other reasons.

Regardless of your test result, continuing to take health precautions is critical. The fact that we did not detect the virus in your sample does not mean that you are free from the risk of being infected now or in the future. You could be exposed to the virus later and then develop illness. In other words, a negative test result means that you may still get sick.

What should I do now?

We still recommend you follow guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) on how to protect yourself and those around you during this COVID-19 public health emergency.

What should I do if I get sick later?

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, contact your medical provider or call 211 for questions while maintaining yourself in isolation while you are not feeling well. Fever and cough are symptoms of this illness and may last for several days. Resting, staying hydrated, and sleeping are typically helpful. Remember that 80% of people infected with COVID-19 recover well in their residence.

I do not have health insurance. What should I do if I need to see a medical provider?

We recommend contacting a local Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). FQHCs are in most cities and in many rural areas. They are dedicated to providing high quality, affordable care to everyone and will help you, even if you have no health insurance. Find the nearest FQHC at


We encourage questions about TRACE OSU and project testing. If you have questions, please contact the TRACE OSU project team at 541-713-0450 or toll free at 844-541-4219 or email us at


Please visit our Resources page for additional information.