The University of Georgia is ending the academic year on a high note, with the lowest number of COVID-19 cases recorded since the university began its testing program last August. Only seven cases were reported last week—five students and two staff members. No faculty cases were reported.
Three of the cases were diagnosed through the University’s surveillance testing program. A total of 252 tests were administered at the Legion Field surveillance site and in a satellite location, for a positivity rate of 1.19%. For the first time this year, no positive cases were reported at the University Health Center.
Cases at UGA have been holding steady in the teens for the last several weeks.
“This is certainly the way we had hoped to end the school year, and I want to thank the entire University of Georgia community for getting us to this point,” said Dr. Garth Russo, executive director of the University Health Center and chair of UGA’s Medical Oversight Task Force. “Our faculty, staff and students are to be commended for their diligence in following health and safety protocols. With the prevalence of vaccines, we are finally able to turn the corner on this disease, and I urge everyone who hasn’t yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible. Inoculation remains the best way for our lives to truly get back to normal.”
As of Sunday, May 9, the University Health Center has administered 20,978 vaccines, with 11,030 members of the UGA community being fully vaccinated. Many members of the UGA community have received their vaccines at other locations, improving overall progress toward herd immunity.
As of Monday, May 10, the UHC broadened eligibility for onsite vaccinations to include eligible dependents of UGA faculty, staff, and students; UGA retirees; spouses/partners of retirees, faculty, staff, and students; visitors to campus engaged in research, academic or non-academic summer engagement/transition opportunities; those visiting campus as part of Orientation; and active employees and (primarily) students enrolled at other USG institutions who live in the Athens vicinity and who wish to receive vaccine at the UHC over the summer.
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 UHC website also includes a Vaccine Dashboard that reports the total amount of vaccine received and administered through the previous week, as well as the number of vaccines given by the UHC within the prior week. These reports will continue over the summer, although this will be the last week that a release to the media, summarizing the data, is issued.
The University Health Center and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories will also continue to offer saliva-based testing that is free to faculty, staff and students over the summer. As of Monday, May 17, the test site will move from Legion Field to the University Health Center.
The University of Georgia community consists of nearly 50,000 students, faculty and staff.