Reports of positive cases of COVID-19 among faculty, staff and students at the University of Georgia dropped dramatically last week—dipping 37% from the previous week to a level not seen since Thanksgiving.
Overall, 115 individuals reported positive tests through the DawgCheck system for February 1-7. Of those, 87 were students, 23 were staff, and five were faculty members.
Surveillance tests were administered to 2,478 individuals at the Legion Field surveillance site and in pop-up locations in high-traffic areas across campus. Of those tested, 40 yielded positive results for a positivity rate of 1.61 percent—again, the lowest rate since Thanksgiving.
“These data are consistent with what we are now seeing in the broader community and across the nation—reports of new cases are declining as we move past the post-holiday surge that had been anticipated,” said Dr. Garth Russo, executive director of the University Health Center and chair of UGA’s Medical Oversight Task Force. “However, we know that more contagious variants of the virus are emerging. Therefore, we have to remain vigilant.”
The University Health Center and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories are continuing to meet 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 downward trend indicates that the measures we are taking to keep our campus and community safe are succeeding,” observed President Jere W. Morehead. “I want to thank our faculty, staff and students who are working so hard to follow best practices like social distancing and wearing face coverings. Together, we are making progress.”
The University is maintaining a stock of nearly 500 rooms to accommodate isolation and quarantine housing, as needed. At present, 5.8 percent of the housing stock is in use.
The University of Georgia community consists of nearly 50,000 students, faculty and staff.