Reports of positive cases of COVID-19 at the University of Georgia now stand at the lowest level since the University began its surveillance testing last August, with 51 individuals reporting positive tests for February 22 – 28. That number is down 25 percent from the previous week.
Of those who reported positive tests through the DawgCheck system, 43 were students, six were staff, and two were faculty members.
Surveillance tests were administered to 1,929 individuals at the Legion Field surveillance site and in a satellite location. Of those tested, 19 yielded positive results for a positivity rate less than 1 percent, at 0.985 percent.
“The number of positive cases has not been this low since we started tracking cases in August of last year,” said Dr. Garth Russo, executive director of the University Health Center and chair of UGA’s Medical Oversight Task Force. “Of course, I am very encouraged by the downward trendline, and I think we are making steady progress against this disease. At the same time—as I say every week—now is not the time to relax our standards. Rather, we must remain diligent in our adherences to safety protocols, or we risk a backslide.”
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, 1 percent of the housing stock is in use.
“I was pleased to see another decline in positive cases and in our positivity rate for surveillance testing,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I would remind everyone, however, that the Spring Semester is far from over, and we must continue to enact all of the safety measures that have led us to this point. Each member of our community has a personal responsibility and a personal stake in combatting the spread of this virus.”
The University of Georgia community consists of nearly 50,000 students, faculty and staff.