With just two weeks left in the fall semester, reported cases of COVID-19 at the University of Georgia hit a new all-time low for the semester and a 22% decrease from the previous week.
A total of 18 cases were reported for the week of Nov. 22-28, a decrease of five cases from the previous week. This week’s figure also marks a 97% decrease from the peak of cases reported around Labor Day. The University Health Center (UHC) posted the data as part of the weekly update on its website Wednesday morning. Of the 18 cases reported in DawgCheck, 12 were students, five were staff members and one was a faculty member.
The positivity rate for UGA’s surveillance testing was low again this week, with two of 282 asymptomatic individuals testing positive for a rate of 0.7%. The UHC can test up to 800 individuals a day, and this service is offered free to the campus community.
“As we head into the holiday season, there is no time like the present for students, faculty and staff to consider getting an initial COVID-19 vaccination or a booster shot to help us continue fighting this global pandemic as much as possible,” said Jen Swails, interim executive director of the University Health Center and co-chair of the university’s Medical Oversight Task Force. “With the new Omicron variant identified in other parts of the world, it’s important to take steps now to protect ourselves from this relatively unknown mutation by getting vaccinated, wearing a face covering in large indoor gatherings and practicing good handwashing whenever possible.”
The UGA College of Public Health, in partnership with the UHC, will continue to offer pop-up COVID-19 testing at the Tate Center ahead of winter break. Walk-up testing will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 8 and Dec. 20. No appointments are necessary for these services.
The UHC also continues to provide COVID-19 vaccinations free of charge to faculty, staff and students and their dependents over age 16. Booster shots are also available to faculty, staff, students and their eligible dependents who received their second dose at least six months ago. To date, the UHC has administered nearly 31,000 vaccines to members of the UGA community. The university continues to offer free T-shirts for vaccinations, while supplies last.
In addition to COVID-19 vaccines, the UHC is also offering the flu vaccine with no appointment necessary for all students, faculty and staff from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday. Flu shots are available to UGA students, student spouses, current faculty and staff and their dependents (13 years and older) and retired faculty. A flu shot is free for those who bring a UGA ID and current insurance card. A flu shot will cost $50 for those who are uninsured. Appointments can also be made by phone in the Allergy/Travel Clinic by calling 706-542-5575 or visiting patientportal.uhs.uga.edu.
The flu vaccine is also readily available at local pharmacies, clinics and primary care physicians’ offices. The Georgia Department of Public Health offers a HealthMap Vaccine Finder on its website.
If patients are eligible, both flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be administered during the same visit.
As it did last year, the university is maintaining a stock of rooms on- and off-campus to accommodate isolation and quarantine housing, as needed. Currently, none of the housing stock is in use.
The weekly DawgCheck reporting data consists of information from four sources: (1) tests conducted through UGA’s surveillance testing program; (2) symptomatic tests conducted at the University Health Center; (3) reports from Athens-area medical providers; and (4) reports of positive tests from other sources.