Reports of positive cases of COVID-19 at the University of Georgia dropped 30 percent over the previous week, with a total of 33 individuals reporting positive tests for March 8-14. The number sets a new record for the lowest amount recorded since UGA began surveillance testing in August.
Of those who reported positive tests through the DawgCheck system, 26 were students and seven were staff members. No cases were reported among the faculty.
Surveillance tests were administered to 1,565 individuals at the Legion Field surveillance site and in a satellite location. Of those tested, 13 yielded positive results for a positivity rate that remained below 1 percent at .83 percent.
“I am very pleased to see that our case numbers are continuing to decline,” said Dr. Garth Russo, executive director of the University Health Center and chair of UGA’s Medical Oversight Task Force. “However, I am disappointed that interest in surveillance testing is waning. While this is only natural as vaccines become more widely available, this is not the time to let down our guard. Even if we have been vaccinated, we need to continue to wear our masks, maintain social distance and wash our hands—and we need those who haven’t been vaccinated to continue to be tested.”
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, less than 1 percent of the housing stock is in use.
The University of Georgia community consists of nearly 50,000 students, faculty and staff.