If you received an invitation
If you received an invitation to the Key to Oregon study in the mail, please consider enrolling today.
Important study update
Please see the Key to Oregon FAQ page to learn about a temporary update in how testing will be done in the study.
The Key to Oregon study will test, track and map the COVID-19 symptoms, and new infections, of up to 100,000 Oregonians in real time. Leaders will use the data to decide how to return Oregonians to work and school while protecting against a second wave of infections.
OHSU is leading the study in partnership with the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health and in collaboration with the Oregon Health Authority. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced the study May 1, 2020.
“Just as Oregon was a national leader in slowing the initial spread of the virus, we have an opportunity to show the nation a sensible, systematic way to restore our economy.”
– OHSU President Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS
Why the study is important
The study follows Oregon’s success in flattening the curve. Oregonians kept infections down and avoided overwhelming the health care system. That means, though, that few Oregonians have immunity to the coronavirus — the virus that causes COVID-19.
The study will give researchers a better understanding of how many Oregonians are infected with the coronavirus, where infections are and how the virus spreads. Leaders expect the study to provide a national model in taking a science-based path to reopening Oregon and helping to restore the economy.
Who will take part
OHSU researchers are randomly selecting 150,000 Oregon households to receive invitations to join the study. Invitations are being sent in the mail. The effort will include a focus on enrolling people who fully represent the state, including our diversity in geography, socioeconomic status and communities of color.
OHSU researchers hope to enroll 100,000 adults in the study, which is expected to last up to one year. Taking part is voluntary. The study will follow strict OHSU research privacy guidelines.
Catching infections early
People in the study will report their temperature and any COVID-19 symptoms each day on our secure website. They will use their own thermometer or be offered a Kinsa “smart” thermometer at no cost.
Those who have symptoms — as well as some randomly selected participants without symptoms — may receive a COVID-19 test kit at no cost.
The idea is to catch infections early, before they spread. Researchers also want to find infections in people who don't feel sick so they get a true picture of the virus’s patterns.
Data will be tracked in real time, allowing the research team to see emerging hotspots early so officials can contain infections before new stay-home orders are needed. People who test positive for the coronavirus can stay home (isolate), and health officials can identify those they’ve come in contact with (contact tracing).
This study is not a substitute for health care. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should contact a health care provider.
The state of Oregon has made an initial investment of $6 million to fund the study. OHSU and Gov. Brown are seeking more funding through public-private partnerships.
The research team
A team of OHSU researchers, including experts from the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, developed the study. The team includes:
- OHSU President Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS
- David Bangsberg, M.D., M.P.H., founding dean of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health
- Brian Druker, M.D., director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute
- Principal investigators: Jackie Shannon, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Paul Spellman, Ph.D.
- Consultants: OHSU Chair of Pathology Donna Hansel, Ph.D., M.D.; OHSU infectious disease experts; and researchers across OHSU, including from the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute