Faculty in the COVID-19 news

Learn about CPHHS faculty in the news contributing their expertise around COVID-19.

College of Public Health and Human Sciences

In the news



May 12, 2021

Oregon Is Missing a Shot to Tie Blazers Games to Vaccinations

“It makes sense,” says Oregon State University professor Chunhuei Chi. “Vaccination is the fastest and cheapest way to get this under control. And we need to encourage people who can to get vaccinated to give them an incentive. It’s not only protecting oneself; it’s protecting others, our entire community.” Read full story at Willamette Week.

May 10, 2021

Oregon schools are in session. So is COVID-19

Professor Chunhuei Chi cites Taiwan, a country that hasn’t closed schools at all in the pandemic, as an example of a school system that has implemented safety measures — from masks and temperature checks, to constant sanitizing, to keeping windows open — as a model for Oregon. Read full story at OPB.

April 29, 2021

Older adults found resilience during pandemic through community, human connection, study finds

“It’s a mistake to think of older adults as just being sort of victims during COVID,” Carolyn says. “They’re a lot more resilient than we think they are.” Read full story at Synergies.

April 29, 2021

COVID surge in Oregon shows U.S. fight against pandemic not over

“I think the issue is that we have this very fragmented response system to Covid,” said Javier Nieto, a physician-epidemiologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis. “You have a fragmented response where one county is doing one thing, another county -- something else.” Read full story at Bloomberg.

April 28, 2021

India's crushing COVID-19 caseload the result of a 'perfect storm' of factors, experts say

Infectious disease experts say a combination of political, biological, behavioral and meteorological factors led to India's COVID-19 crisis. Read full story at USA Today.

April 28, 2021

How long does COVID vaccine immunity last? When might we need a booster?

Chunhuei Chi, with Oregon State University, said Pfizer, Moderna and others are conducting clinical trials to determine how long a booster shot will extend protective immunity and to determine whether their vaccines can be tailored to combat new variants of the virus. Read full story at Genetic Literacy Project.

April 27, 2021

Reaching out to underserved communities on the coast

When a seafood processor in Newport, Oregon was hit with a large outbreak of the coronavirus virus, FCH Extension Service faculty got to work. Read full story at Synergies.

April 27, 2021

Roughly 25% of Oregonians say they will not get vaccinated unless required

Research experts from Oregon State University shared their advice to fight vaccine hesitancy. Read full story at KPIC News.

April 26, 2021

Wearing masks outdoors probably not necessary unless in crowds, Oregon health expert says

Ahead of the announcement, KATU asked Dr. Chunhuei Chi of Oregon State University's Center for Global Health whether wearing masks outdoors was going too far. "It depends," Chi said. "Depending on how close and how big the crowd." Read full story at KATU.

April 16, 2021

Rural-urban divide compounds racial disparities in COVID-19 deaths, study finds

A recent study found the risk of dying from COVID-19 was even greater for racial and ethnic minority groups in rural areas compared with urban areas. Read full story at Synergies.

April 14, 2021

From Michigan to India, Covid hasn't quit us

Already two new variants have been found in India, Chunhuei Chi, director of the Center for Global Health at Oregon State University, told me. One of the variants, which is probably contributing to fast-rising Covid cases in Maharashtra, has two different mutations, raising the chances that it could escape the vaccine’s defenses. In one New Delhi hospital, 37 doctors tested positive for Covid after receiving two vaccine doses. “India needs to contain this quickly,” Chi said. Read full story at Politico.

April 10, 2021

What is herd immunity, and how do we get there in Oregon?

Chunhuei Chi says “there is no magic number,” and with the rise of concerning COVID-19 variants, such as the B.1.1.7, that threshold could grow higher. “The threshold number, it’s not black and white. It’s in a range. But on average, that threshold number is proportionally higher if the virus or the bacteria are more contagious,” Chi says. Read full story at PDX Monthly.

April 9, 2021

How Long Are You Immune After the COVID Vaccine?

Several factors may influence how much protection the vaccines provide and for how long, said Dr. Chunhuei Chi. For instance, people who have a stronger immune response to a vaccine will produce more antibodies and memory cells — and therefore have stronger immunity, he said. But, he adds, there is not currently evidence to show that a stronger immune response will increase the duration of immunity. Read full story at The New Yorker.

April 7, 2021

COVID-19 sickens larger proportion of young people, Oregon and national data show

Cases in college students are a clear contributing factor, said Dr. Chunhuei Chi, professor of international health at Oregon State University and director of its Center for Global Health. OSU saw a substantial rise in COVID cases on its Corvallis campus in February, although the numbers have fallen in recent weeks. Read full story at KGW.com.

April 7, 2021

Oregon sees share of coronavirus cases rise in 10-19 age group

Cases in college students are a clear contributing factor, said Professor Chunhuei Chi. OSU saw a substantial rise in COVID cases on its Corvallis campus in February, although the numbers have fallen in recent weeks. Chi said OSU was testing every student who lived in the dorms weekly, noting that simply testing more frequently is likely to turn up a greater fraction of asymptomatic cases that might otherwise have slipped under the radar. Read full story at The Oregonian.

April 1, 2021

Study Shows Highest Level Of Virus Prevalence So Far In Corvallis

Results of the latest round of COVID-19 prevalence testing in Corvallis show the highest levels there since the project began nearly a year ago. Listen to full story at KLCC.

April 1, 2021

How Long Does The COVID-19 Vaccine Last?

Getting COVID-19 vaccines to as many people as possible is of critical importance, but one critical question remains: Just how long does the vaccine last? Read full story at The List.

March 29, 2021

How long will the coronavirus vaccines protect you? Experts weigh in.

Chunhuei Chi said immune responses vary from person to person. People who have a stronger immune response to a vaccine will produce more antibodies and memory cells — and therefore have stronger immunity, he said. But there is not currently evidence to show that a stronger immune response will increase the duration of immunity. Read full story at Washington Post.

March 27, 2021

Oregon health professor says hesitancy around vaccine is still a hurdle for herd immunity

According to Professor Chunhuei Chi, people shouldn't be willing to lower their guards until 60% of the county is vaccinated or cases drop below 20 a day. While Oregon has vaccinated 15% of its population, its neighbors could be slowing down the process. Read full story at KATU.

March 15, 2021

COVID Sickens Bigger Proportion Of Young People

Cases in college students are a clear contributing factor, said Dr. Chunhuei Chi, professor of international health at Oregon State University and director of its Center for Global Health. OSU saw a substantial rise in COVID cases on its Corvallis campus in February, although the numbers have fallen in recent weeks. Read full story at The Lund Report.

March 3, 2021

Concerns over vaccine distribution stem from staff shortages, lack of access

"Manpower is number one," said Chunhuei Chi, director of Oregon State University's Center for Global Health. Chi's main concern is whether there are enough people to handle the distribution process. Read full story at KTVL.

March 2, 2021

With increased vaccine supply, Oregon health and virus experts worry about distribution

"I'm not too optimistic about a quick fix because the public health infrastructure has been chronically underfunded and underdeveloped," said Chi. "It will take a while to boost it up." Read full story at KATU.

February 24, 2021

Getting back to ‘normal’ in Oregon means getting to COVID-19 herd immunity

COVID-19 has disrupted our lives for a year now. But we won't get past the pandemic until we achieve herd immunity to the disease. How do we get there? Read full story at OPB.

February 24, 2021

Whether the Pandemic Goes Out With a Bang or a Whimper Depends on Whether Oregon Can Outrace the Virus Variants.

“Given the nature of the virus, it will continue to mutate, and the speed of mutation will be faster when you have more people infected,” says Chunhuei Chi, director of Oregon State University’s Center for Global Health. “We are racing against time.” Read full story at Willamette Week.

February 10, 2021

New coronavirus variants are everywhere: Will they drag out the pandemic?

The more people who get vaccinated now, the less virus we can expect to see in the summer, even with the new variants in the mix, said Chunhuei Chi, director of the Center for Global Health at Oregon State University. Read full story at The Los Angeles Times.

January 28, 2021

Should we be wearing two masks to guard against COVID-19?

Chunhuei Chi, director of Oregon State University's Center for Global Health, agrees that wearing two masks would be beneficial in some instances. But he says it's much more important to encourage universal wearing of just one mask, which still hasn't been achieved. Read full story at KATU News.

January 11, 2021

Little cloth mask is big tool in COVID battle

Chi stressed that the lockdowns we’re seeing right now are a direct result of not wearing our masks religiously. “Masking is a way to liberate us, it allows us to become freer and engage in the activities we all want to engage in,” he said. Read full story at KOIN TV News.

January 4, 2021

OSU forms plan to prepare for COVID-19 vaccine, related concerns

Following two COVID-19 vaccines being approved by the Food and Drug Administration in December, Oregon State University has begun creating a plan to deal with these vaccines at both campus-wide and statewide levels. Read full story at The Daily Barometer.

January 3, 2021

Oregon health professionals cautiously optimistic for future amid pandemic

Health professionals are feeling optimistic as we dive into 2021. They say now that the holidays are over, and the coronavirus vaccine continues to roll out, there's a good chance we could get the pandemic behind us in the new year. Read full story at KATU News.



December 26, 2020

OSU professor says proof of vaccination papers 'not a new concept'

While only essential employees are currently able to get the coronavirus vaccine, health professionals believe large corporations are exploring their options about if they will require proof of vaccination in order for people to use their services. Read full story at KATU News.

November 23, 2020

Smart tips for holiday travel during COVID-19

The safest thing to do for yourself and others is to stay home. But we also have to balance the mental health effects of a long pandemic. Read full story at Synergies.

November 14, 2020

How Taiwan beat Covid-19

The high-tech island nation has had a good pandemic, quickly squashing the virus without a national lockdown. What did Taiwan get right? Read full story at WIRED U.K..

November 11, 2020

Governor Kate Brown Issues a Plea for Oregonians to Stay With Their Household. Will It Work?

As nine Oregon counties head into a two-week “pause,” what got us here and what does it mean? Read full story at Portland Monthly.

November 10, 2020

'Pumping the brakes': Why health experts say Oregon's two-week pause has to work

Gov. Brown reiterated Tuesday that the “pause,” which will impact nine counties, is the state’s best hope at slowing the spread of the virus. Watch video at KGW8.

November 6, 2020

How COVID-19 deteriorates social connectedness and exacerbates health disparities in vulnerable populations

Assistant Professor Jonathan Garcia, CPHHS doctoral student Nancy Vargas and CPHHS alum Cynthia De La Torre, BS ’20, led the discussion and are each involved in ENLACE, which stands for Engaging the Next Latinx Allies for Change and Equity. This program builds solidarity and amplifies youth voices, connecting Latinx and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth in fighting social isolation. Watch full webcast at Synergies.

November 2, 2020

Get Your Flu Shot: It Might Shield You From Severe COVID

"One thing we do know is that flu shots are effective in preventing flu," Chi said. "And when a person is infected with the flu, her/his immune system will be weakened. Under such conditions, the person is more vulnerable to infection with COVID-19 and, if infected, [outcomes] tend to be more serious." Read full story at U.S. News and World Report.

October 26, 2020

Health professionals urging people to re-think holiday gatherings

"We have been in this pandemic for more than half a year, and by now many people are already developing a level of pandemic fatigue," Chi said. "I know it’s extremely important. Particularly, we have been in this for a long time, and mentally it’s important to meet with family, but we want to meet with family safely." Watch full story at KATU News.

October 18, 2020

Health professional warns coronavirus survivors of possible re-infection

For months, people all across the country have been taking measures to prevent themselves from getting the coronavirus. Now health professionals are warning survivors of the of the virus that they could catch it again. Watch full story at KATU News.

October 11, 2020

As Oregon hits coronavirus case milestones, experts concerned ahead of rainy season

"The disease is airborne and particularly indoors, there is no safety distance," Professor Chunhuei Chi explained. "The aerosol that carries the virus can mingle. If it’s not well ventilated, they can linger on for several hours. They can evenly distribute throughout indoors." Watch full story at KATU News.

September 29, 2020

Coronavirus Today: Kids are not immune

Inspired by this news, I asked Chunhuei Chi, director of the Center for Global Health at Oregon State University, to tell me how safe it was to bring a kid to a playground. Read full story at Los Angeles Times.

September 15, 2020

9 Tips to Help Your Child Wear a Mask

Wearing and seeing masks can be frustrating or scary for young children. Here are some ways to help your child understand and get used to them. Read more at PBS KIDS for Parents.

September 15, 2020

Wildfire smoke is likely to leave millions of people more vulnerable to flu and the coronavirus this fall

Wildfire smoke contains particulate matter that can penetrate deep into the lungs and spread through the bloodstream. Read full story at Business Insider.

August 19, 2020

How Long Can Americans Go Unemployed?

Just how tenuous is the financial situation of America’s poorest households? Oregon State University research says the majority of low-to-moderate-income Americans don’t have enough cash to last three months. That’s certainly worrisome as the pandemic closures stretch on. Listen to interview at Top of Mind.

August 11, 2020

Taiwan Has Had 7 Coronavirus Deaths. Here's How

"Such legislation is vital during a pandemic, for without such legal foundation, most nations in Europe and the U.S. and Canada ended up in endless debates and not able to take effective actions in time," said Professor Chunhuei Chi. Read full story at Newsweek.

August 7, 2020

Lincoln County Extension builds coalition to inform Latino and indigenous communities about COVID-19

The effort has focused on providing urgent video communications in Spanish and Mam – a language spoken by more than a half-million people in Guatemala – in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the county. Read full story at Synergies.

August 4, 2020

How to Stay Physically, but Not Emotionally, Distant with Kindergarten and Pre-K Students

Social distancing poses several challenges for younger children whose physical and emotional needs differ from older kids. Educators have identified ways to keep kids safe while giving them the environment needed to learn and feel cared for. Read more at KQED.

August 4, 2020

Study: Most Americans don’t have enough assets to withstand 3 months without income

The implications of these findings have become starkly apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, says David Rothwell, lead author on the study. Read full story at Synergies.

July 29, 2020

Oregon: Feds leave, virus remains

Oregon and other states have made no effort to properly quarantine or isolate people who have no or mild symptoms, Chi said. He estimates that this group of people can contribute to between 50 to 75 percent of new infections because they ignore orders to isolate or can’t get tested in the first place. Read full story at Politico.

July 24, 2020

COVID-19 unmasked: Answers to frequent virus questions

Chunhuei Chi, the director of the Center for Global Health at Oregon State University, addressed some of the misconceptions, falsehoods and questions surrounding COVID-19 in the mid-valley. Read full story at The Albany Democrat Herald.

July 23, 2020

Public health professor shares COVID-19 expertise to help keep people safe

Reporters seek his insight on the U.S. government’s response to the coronavirus, compared with other countries’ responses, as well as his recommendations for proper mask use and how quickly people should return to public activity. Read full story at Synergies.

July 08, 2020

You may be carrying COVID-19 into your home on your shoes

One health expert warns, as more and more stores open up, we should all be taking at least one very important step when it comes to our shoes. Watch video at KGW8.

June 25, 2020

State face-covering mandate in effect in Lincoln County

Chunhuei Chi, professor and coordinator at the International Health Program at Oregon State University, said recent studies indicated that wearing face coverings was more important than social distancing at preventing viral spread when indoors. Read full story at Newport News Times.

June 25, 2020

Reopenings, record cases and full hospitals: America’s dissonant response to the pandemic

Americans are living through a split-screen pandemic: Their leaders are relaxing restrictions while their states set records for new infections and hospitalizations. Read full story at The Washington Post.

June 19, 2020

Portland restaurants and bars can reopen Friday: Here are 5 things you need to know

Health experts including Professor Chunhuei Chi have advised that it’s generally safer for Oregonians to eat out if they live in counties with a relatively low number of cases or no cases at all, and that “the general public should not have a false sense of security” when visiting restaurants and bars. Read full story at The Oregonian.

June 12, 2020

Right time, right place, right researcher

Jeff Bethel has found his moment. For him, and others in public health, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the work they do every day, work that happens behind the scenes and isn’t visible until disease or disaster strikes. Read full story at Synergies.

June 2, 2020

Oregon’s emergency child care workforce remains diverse, but COVID worries persist

A report on Oregon’s emergency child care during the COVID-19 pandemic shows that the workforce matches the racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity of the non-emergency workforce. Read full story at Synergies.

May 27, 2020

Research group advocates prioritizing recess as schools look ahead to students’ return

Recess is a crucial time for kids to engage in physical activity, as well as practice their social and emotional regulation skills. And it’s going to be an integral part of allowing kids to recover from the stress and even trauma wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read full story at Synergies.

May 25, 2020

What you need to know about hair, nail salons: The Oregonian/OregonLive’s guide to reopening

But it’s not always practical for customers to wear masks while getting their hair cut and that could put employees and other patrons at risk. Read full story at The Oregonian.

May 22, 2020

Overwhelmed working from home and home-schooling? Expert says you're not alone

"To them we're there and we're at home and it's hard for them to see that their job is to go to school at home somehow and our job is to somehow work from home and so it's really hard to do both of those things." Watch video at KGW8.

May 22, 2020

OSU expands COVID-19 prevalence study to Bend; also will analyze wastewater

TRACE-COVID-19, the groundbreaking Oregon State University project to determine community prevalence of the novel coronavirus, is expanding to include two days of sampling in Bend. At the same time, wastewater samples also will be analyzed for genetic evidence. Watch video at KTVZ.

May 16, 2020

So you really want to see your friends? Here's how to assess the risk

You’ve stayed at home long enough and want to socialize with your friends. Here’s how you can gather without putting your health -- or theirs -- in jeopardy. Read full story at Los Angeles Times.

May 15, 2020

Not out of the woods yet: Experts prepare for possible second wave

Though phase one of reopening feels like a victory to many, experts are reminding the public that there is still a long road ahead and possibly a second wave of the virus too. Watch video at KEZI.

May 15, 2020

Taiwan beat covid-19 and won friends. At the WHO, it’s still fighting for a seat at the table.

Taipei is winning new influence due to its pandemic response and diplomatic outreach, but its full participation in world health affairs remains stymied by politics. Read full story at The Washington Post.

May 13, 2020

Deschutes County health and medical metrics for reopening ready to go

Deschutes County has met the health and medical checkpoints for reopening, but still is awaiting the governor’s approval. Read full story at Bend Bulletin.

May 12, 2020

Ask An Expert: How OSU's study is determining coronavirus prevalence

We’re learning more about a study being done in Corvallis, where researchers are going door to door and testing residents for coronavirus to find its prevalence in the community. Jeffery Bethel from Oregon State University joined us via video conference Tuesday to answer questions about the research. Watch video at KATU.

May 12, 2020

Wellness Agents Beavers Cover Campaign

Dietetics student Jenny Randall – and her dog – are featured in the Beavers Cover campaign video encouraging the use of face masks.

May 11, 2020

OSU trace project initial results are in

OSU researchers are continuing a unique project to track COVID-19 in Corvallis, Oregon. Watch video at KGW8.

May 7, 2020

How the pandemic is hurting older adults

Due to COVID-19, the public discourse has reverted to one in which older adults are viewed as monolithically weak, frail and unproductive. This ageist and untrue portrayal is damaging and may lead to policy actions that harm the aging population. Read full opinion piece at the Gazette-Times.

May 7, 2020

TRACE first week’s results suggest two people per 1,000 in Corvallis were infected with SARS-CoV-2

Results from the first weekend of door-to-door sampling suggest that about two people per 1,000 in the Corvallis community had the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 when they were tested. Read full story at OSU News and Research Communications.

May 6, 2020

Public Health Experts Praise Gov. Kate Brown’s Approach to Reopening Oregon. They Also Think It Could Be Improved.

Any timetable—in Portland or elsewhere—will depend on whether that area meets benchmarks for testing and tracing people who might have the virus. Read full story at Willamette Week.

May 2, 2020

Proximity to Portland air polluters puts minorities at risk for coronavirus complications, researchers say

“The things we’ve done in the past are not just gone from our bodies,” he said. “They affect how we manage the acute respiratory effects of COVID-19.” Read full story at The Oregonian.

April 28, 2020

Parenting specialist provides support for foster families from afar despite social distancing

In the absence of physical community gatherings, Sektnan put together a list of links to resources that would be helpful for families during this new and difficult time. Read full story at Life at OSU.

April 16, 2020

Oregonians weigh in about potential executive order requiring masks be worn in public

As you head out to places like the grocery store, you are probably seeing more and more people wearing masks. Watch video at KPTV.

April 15, 2020

Masks still voluntary in Oregon as other states increasingly require them to slow coronavirus spread

New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Los Angeles have all required masks to enter businesses. Oregon has not. Read full story at The Oregonian.

April 14, 2020

Oregon joins Washington, California in pledge to coordinate reopening from coronavirus shutdown

The three West Coast governors pushed back after President Trump said the decision would be his. Read full story at The Oregonian.

April 13, 2020

Most Aggressive States Against the Coronavirus

In order to determine the states that are most and least aggressive in their efforts to limit exposure to coronavirus, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 51 unique metrics. Read full story at WalletHub.

April 10, 2020

We can’t shelter in place forever: How the coronavirus lockdown might end

The coronavirus changed our lives. Health experts discuss how we might get back to normal. Read full story at The L.A. Times.

April 9, 2020

Taiwan Is Exporting Its Coronavirus Successes to the World

“Taiwan used the language and terminology of fighting a war,” said Chunhuei Chi. “With that mentality came extreme policy.” Read full story at Foreign Policy.

April 8, 2020

Coronavirus in Oregon: How to properly care for and clean homemade masks

New CDC guidelines suggest wearing homemade, cloth masks in an effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. Read full story at KGW8.

April 7, 2020

New COVID-19 model predicts better outcomes for Oregon

Chunhuei Chi, Director of the Center for Global Health at Oregon State University, said Oregon has positioned itself to follow the path of Taiwan, where the virus has been largely contained, although that depends on Oregonians continuing to honor physical distancing guidelines. Watch video at KPTV.

April 3, 2020

Coronavirus could leave U.S. with a lasting imprint: Masks as normal part of life

'We may be moving gently at this point toward the Asian culture,' one health expert says of everyday mask-wearing. Read full story at the Los Angeles Times.

April 2, 2020

Etiquette Won’t Save Your Productivity — We’re in an Effin’ Pandemic!

“People who always perceived their daily life to be over-the-top stressful were three times more likely to die over the period of study than people who rolled with the punches and didn’t find daily life very stressful.” Read full story at Greatist.