The University of Georgia reported 32 COVID-19 cases over the week of March 15-21, a steady but slight decrease from the 33 cases a week before. Since the start of 2021, the university has reported 1,412 positive cases. Since the start of the pandemic, UGA has reported 6,716 positive cases.
Of the 32 cases reported this week, nine were from UGA’s surveillance testing program for volunteers without symptoms; seven were from the University Health Center’s testing program primarily for students with symptoms; six were from Athens testing sites and the remaining 10 were from the “other” category, which includes positive tests both inside and outside of Athens. In total, 25 students and seven employees tested positive.
The university conducted 1,143 surveillance tests during the week of March 15-19, the lowest amount this semester. The positivity rate from surveillance testing was 0.79%, slightly down from 0.83% the previous week.
Despite a slight increase in positivity rate last week, the COVID-19 positive cases and positivity rates at UGA 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. The Red & Black will continue to monitor all COVID-19 related information reported by UGA.
UHC has administered about 3,168 first-dose vaccinations as of March 24, with an additional 1,769 people who have completed the entire regimen of both doses, according to an Archnews email.
Additionally, the University Health Center will shortly begin sending appointment invites to the rest of the UGA faculty, staff and students over the age of 16 due to the expansion in eligibility announced by Gov. Brian Kemp on March 23.
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 individuals to still try their best to follow social distancing, wear masks and frequently wash hands.