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UGA ends COVID reporting and other on-campus measures

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UGA Today
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The University of Georgia is ending weekly COVID-19 reporting next week.

According to a message from administrators on the UGA Medical Oversight Task Force, moving forward, COVID-19 monitoring on campus will be managed as “any other infectious disease cases.” Other measures coming to a stop include free surveillance testing for students and faculty, quarantine and isolation housing and voluntary positive test reporting through DawgCheck.

The message cites improving conditions and high vaccination rates as reasoning and says the Task Force and University Health Center are prepared to pivot if cases surge. Last month, UGA ended mask mandates on university transportation following a federal court decision that affects all public transportation. Masks have remained optional on campus throughout the pandemic.

From April 25 to May 1, 41 positive cases were reported on campus. A final health and exposure update will be published on the health center website May 18.

“We will continue to provide health and safety counsel to senior administrators as needed,” the message reads. “We are constantly monitoring local, national, and global viral conditions and will make changes to our policies if necessary.”

Free vaccinations will still be available at the UHC. To date, 34,051 people have received at least one vaccine at UGA.

In Athens-Clarke County, 49% of people eligible are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The latest 7-day case rate was low at 47.5 positive cases per 100,000 people — last week it was 30.4. The Clarke County School District reported 11 postive cases in April, a far cry from the surge in January where over 1,500 positive cases were reported.

Though the spring season has brought a rise in cases nationwide, health experts continue to encourage the efficacy of vaccines, which can protect people from hospitalization and death. Many are now eligible for a fourth COVID booster.