Cases of COVID-19 at the University of Georgia have dropped significantly, falling 35 percent from the previous week among faculty, staff and students.
Overall, 68 individuals reported positive tests through the DawgCheck system for February 15 – 21. Of those, 56 were students, nine were staff, and three were faculty members.
Surveillance tests were administered to 1,890 individuals at the Legion Field surveillance site and at a satellite location. Of those tested, 20 yielded positive results for a positivity rate of 1.06 percent.
“I am very pleased to see this week’s report because the numbers haven’t been this low since mid-October,” said Dr. Garth Russo, executive director of the University Health Center and chair of UGA’s Medical Oversight Task Force. “I think it is clear that we are making headway against COVID-19. The challenge now is to keep up our guard as the weather improves and we all are tempted to resume normal activities this spring. We cannot afford to relax our safety protocols.”
The University Health Center and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories are meeting daily demand for testing with saliva-based testing that is free to faculty, staff and students.
The University reports test results on a weekly basis each Wednesday on the University Health Center website: https://uhs.uga.edu/healthtopics/covid-19-health-and-exposure-updates. The data consist of tests from four sources: (1) tests conducted through UGA’s surveillance testing program; (2) tests conducted at the University Health Center; (3) reports from Athens-area medical providers; and (4) reports of positive tests from other sources.
The University is maintaining a stock of nearly 500 rooms to accommodate isolation and quarantine housing, as needed. At present, 4 percent of the housing stock is in use.
“The progress our campus community is making against COVID-19 is noteworthy,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “The low positivity rate and sharp decline in cases attest to the diligent efforts of our faculty, staff and students to wear their masks and maintain social distancing. I commend all those who are helping our campus community to meet the challenge of this pandemic.”
The University of Georgia community consists of nearly 50,000 students, faculty and staff.