Signs in the University of Georgia's Legion Pool parking lot denote the site as a COVID-19 surveillance testing site in Athens, Georgia, on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. (Photo/Taylor Gerlach; @taylormckenzie_photo)

The University of Georgia reported 821 new COVID-19 cases from Aug. 24-30, according to data released Wednesday morning. This was up from 189 new cases reported the week before, from Aug. 17-23.

This comes as Athens-Clarke County reported 154 cases Tuesday, a single-day record. The previous record was 74 cases.

The university community has a total of 1,531 confirmed COVID-19 cases since UGA started reporting numbers in March, and 1,074 of these cases were found after Aug. 10.

The surveillance testing site at Legion Field conducted 1,810 tests from Aug. 24-28. 97 positive tests were reported, which is up from 32 positives on Aug. 17-21. This is the first week UGA has surpassed its goal to test up to 300 asymptomatic volunteers a day.

The positivity rate of surveillance testing— which measures the percentage of tests that come back positive — rose to 5.36% from 2.35% the week prior. The positivity rate has risen each week so far since the start of UGA’s surveillance testing program.

UGA President Jere Morehead released a statement on Twitter addressing the rise in the positivity rate—calling it “concerning.”

“It is critically important that all of our students continue to make every effort to prioritize their health and safety by taking the proper steps to avoid exposure to the virus,” Morehead said in the statement.

To those leaving out of town for Labor Day, Morehead said to be careful and think of the health of others around you. In a separate statement on Twitter, Vice President of Student Affairs, Victor Wilson thanked students who followed guidelines and safety practices. He urged students to continue physical distancing both on and off campus.

Compared to Aug. 17-21, a greater proportion of surveillance tests were conducted on students last week. Students took 1,539 out of the 1,810 surveillance tests (85.0%), meaning that the university is beyond its goal for students to account for 75-80% of surveillance tests.

In addition to surveillance testing, UGA also reported 724 other cases that it learned from DawgCheck. Of those, 186 came from the University Health Center, 126 came from local or Athens testing sources and 412 came from non-local or unspecified testing sites.

UHC testing is administered to symptomatic students. The university does not release the number of tests UHC has conducted, but it has been previously reported to have a capacity of up to 60 tests per day.

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(2) comments


To provide more information on Clarke County, statistics for the last three days are given below (these numbers are pulled from the Sept 2 summary at dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report). I'm not sure where the discrepancy (e.g., 135 positive cases listed for Sept 1, vs 154 reported in this article) comes from.

Aug 31: 533 Total Tests; 86 positive cases (7-day average: 57.1 cases); 14.8% positivity rate (7-day average: 10.5%)

Sept 1: 498 Total Tests; 135 positive cases (7-day average: 70.6 cases); 24.1% positivity rate (7-day average: 12.6%)

Sept 2: 223 Total Tests; 70 positive cases (7-day average: 73.9 cases); 14.8% positivity rate (7-day average: 13.2%)


Please make a note in your articles regarding this topic that the percent positive rate is only for the surveillance tests, which excludes those with symptoms. People with symptoms are sent to UHC and the combined (actual) percent positivity is not being reported. Depending on the percent positivity they're seeing at UHC, the surveillance percent positivity could be underestimated.

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