The University of Georgia since late April has prepared for fall semester, including protocols for a potential increase in COVID-19 cases. Its resulting 229-page plan incorporated input from a number of campus stakeholders including students, faculty, staff and public health experts.
UGA’s recent increase in positive COVID-19 tests is largely among students, and appears to be a direct result of off-campus activities, the same as at other large institutions. On campus, the preventive measures of social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands and keeping surfaces disinfected have been working.
UGA has prepared well, and we appreciate the efforts of everyone doing their part to keep UGA’s community safe.
We urge all campus stakeholders to avoid large gatherings, keep a safe physical distance and wear a face mask not only where it is required, but also off campus for their own personal protection. We encourage local authorities to help in this effort by enforcing off-campus public health measures including limits on the size of gatherings. All of these measures will reduce the transmission of the disease if everyone adheres to them.
Other USG campuses that experienced an initial increase in cases saw a decline as extra attention to risk reduction behaviors took effect, including among students who have cleared CDC protocol and returned to their classes.
The University System of Georgia is committed to the essential importance of health and safety for students, faculty and staff, and also believes in the value and importance to students of the on-campus experience. We are working hard with our institutions to achieve both in an on-campus setting and will continue to do so.