Coronavirus update 2.0 UGA

The University of Georgia reported 33 COVID-19 cases over the week of April 5-11, a decrease from the 53 cases a week before. Since the start of 2021, the university has reported 1,531 positive cases. Since the start of the pandemic, UGA has reported 6,835 positive cases.

Of the 33 cases reported this week, nine were from UGA’s surveillance testing program for volunteers without symptoms; five were from the University Health Center’s testing program primarily for students with symptoms; seven were from Athens testing sites and the remaining 12 were from the “other” category, which includes positive tests both inside and outside of Athens. In total, 25 students and eight employees tested positive.

The university conducted 638 surveillance tests during the week of April 5-11, the lowest amount this semester. The positivity rate from surveillance testing was 1.41%, about the same as the 1.42% the previous week.

Despite an increase in both cases and positivity rate the first week of April, the numbers have both been steadily decreasing since the spike of the week of Jan. 4, according to the university’s data reports.

There is still a chance of an uptrend in COVID-19 cases, as different mutations of the coronavirus are found in Georgia and as people ease on public health guidelines. The Red & Black will continue to monitor all COVID-19 related information reported by UGA.

The UHC has administered about 11,096 vaccines cumulatively from the 17,990 received. Of those, 3,499 people have received both doses of the vaccine. UHC administered 2,499 vaccines from April 5-11.

The University Health Center has opened up appointments to everyone in the University of Georgia community via the UHC Vaccine Portal, according to a Wednesday ArchNews email.

UHC will not continue to send appointment invites to UGA faculty, staff and students over the age of 16 who have not yet been vaccinated. Instead, anyone interested in a vaccine will schedule an appointment through the portal.

Recently, an Archnews email released a conversation report between the UGA COVID-19 Response Committee, COVID Task Force Leaders, and President Morehead. In this report, they highlighted that students should be taking advantage of the surveillance testing if they haven’t been vaccinated. Additionally, they have encouraged everyone to get vaccinated and not anticipate mandatory vaccinations for the fall semester. The full panel and conversation can be found here.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, endorsed double masking amid the more contagious coronavirus mutations found in the U.S, which have been found to be 30-70% more transmissible to others than the initial strain. Double-masking has shown to block over 92% of potential infectious particles from spreading to others, according to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC has also released guidelines for vaccinated people to still try their best to follow social distancing, wear masks and frequently wash hands.