According to projections by a team of Oregon State University researchers, some 3,000 of Hermiston's 18,000 plus residents have COVID-19, although many may not even know it.

Last weekend, 29 teams of two persons each went through numerous neighborhoods, and asked people if they would voluntarily take a test. A total of 249 homes were visited, according to Oregon State University officials. Some 471 people were tested, and 41 tested positive, according to a variety of sources.

The researchers claim those results, based upon geographical areas visited and estimates, mean nearly 3,000 people are infected.

The project is similar to Gov. Inslee's Contact Tracing program, except this one is being run by the  OSU colleges of Science, Agricultural Sciences, Engineering, Public Health and Human Sciences, and what is known as the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine. County and State Health officials are also involved.

The Hermiston Herald notified area residents about the pending program, and city officials strongly stated this was not in any way funded by, affiliated with or operated by any branch of the city government.

According to sources, Gov. Brown has said this "confirms" what she and other public health officials have feared, that the virus threatens the entire community.

The timing of the lockdown for both counties doesn't come as a surprise on the heels of these allegations by the TRACE researchers.

We are working to find out economic impact data this new shutdown will have on Hermiston and Umatilla, by locating information from state economic agencies.