On Wednesday, The University of Georgia reported 87 new COVID-19 cases for the week of Nov. 2-8, roughly the same as the university reported from Oct. 26-Nov. 1. Since the start of the pandemic, UGA has reported 4,299 cases, including 3,842 since Aug. 10.
Out of the 87 cases reported for the week of Nov. 2, 31 were from UGA’s surveillance testing program for asymptomatic volunteers, nine were from University Health Center’s testing program for students exhibiting symptoms, 16 were from Athens and local community testing sites and the remaining 31 were from the “Other” category, which includes testing sites both inside and outside of Athens-Clarke County.
There were 63 positive tests among students and 24 among employees.
The university’s surveillance testing program conducted 2,225 tests from Nov. 2-6 — a record number in one week. UGA has succeeded in recent weeks at expanding its rate of testing, largely in part due to incentives for those who volunteer to get tested.
The university has set records for surveillance tests conducted in three of the past four weeks.
This trend could continue as the university has made a push to increase surveillance testing before Thanksgiving break. From Nov. 9-20, UGA plans to double its surveillance testing capacity to 1,000 tests per weekday. The university has stopped sending random invitations for surveillance testing to undergraduate and graduate students to shift resources to prepare for testing before break.
Out of the 2,225 surveillance tests, 31 were positive. The positivity rate among asymptomatic volunteers was 1.39%, slightly lower than the 1.57% positivity rate from Oct. 26-Nov. 1. Among asymptomatic students, the positivity rate was 1.51% from Nov. 2-6.
The UHC conducted 171 for the week of Nov. 2. The positivity rate was 5.26%. UHC testing is expected to have a higher positivity rate than surveillance testing because UHC testing targets students who are exhibiting symptoms, a population that is more likely to be infected than asymptomatic volunteers.
There are pop-up saliva testing locations across campus from Nov. 9-20 in preparation for Thanksgiving break. Pop-up locations include Tate Plaza, Tate West Lawn, a variety of residence halls and the UHC.