fewer COVID cases and lowest positivity rate of the fall

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The FINANCIAL — Number of cases drops; positivity rate reaches all-time low while in session. Nearly 11 weeks into the fall semester at the University of Georgia, reported cases of COVID-19 on campus have dropped significantly and the positivity rate for the university’s surveillance testing has reached a new all-time record low while classes are in session.

A total of 21 cases were reported for the week of Oct. 25-31, a 22% decrease from the previous week and 96% decrease from the peak of cases reported around Labor Day. In addition, only one person out of 575 asymptomatic individuals tested positive, for a rate of 0.174%.

The University Health Center posted the data as part of the weekly update on its website Wednesday morning. Of the 21 cases reported in DawgCheck, 15 were students and six were staff members. No faculty members reported positive cases, according to University of Georgia.

The reduction in cases last week marks a continued overall decline on campus, which also mirrors trends in the local community and across the state of Georgia.

“We continue to be pleased with the decrease in COVID-19 cases on campus, locally and across the state – yet we know there’s still progress to make in combating this pandemic,” said Jen Swails, interim executive director of the University Health Center and co-chair of the University’s Medical Oversight Task Force. “We urge members of the UGA community to continue getting vaccinated and scheduling booster shots, if they are eligible. As we head into the final part of the semester, we need to remain committed to protecting one another from this virus.”

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The UHC can test up to 800 individuals a day through its surveillance testing program, and this service is offered free to the campus community.

The UGA College of Public Health, in partnership with the UHC, will offer pop-up COVID-19 testing at the Tate Center ahead of Thanksgiving and Winter Break. No registration is needed, and exact dates will be announced soon.

The UHC also continues to provide COVID-19 vaccinations free of charge to faculty, staff and students and their dependents over age 16. Booster shots are also available to faculty, staff, students and their eligible dependents who received their second dose at least six months ago. To date, the UHC has administered more than 28,842 vaccines to members of the UGA community. The university continues to offer free T-shirts for vaccinations, while supplies last.

As it did last year, the university is maintaining a stock of rooms on- and off-campus to accommodate isolation and quarantine housing, as needed. Currently, none of the housing stock is in use.

The weekly DawgCheck reporting data consist of information from four sources: (1) tests conducted through UGA’s surveillance testing program; (2) symptomatic tests conducted at the University Health Center; (3) reports from Athens-area medical providers; and (4) reports of positive tests from other sources.

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