The increase is clearly reflected in the figures for the wider Athens-Clark district community. Clark County is the 23rd U.S. county in the most new cases per capita in 14 days, according to data held by the Associated Press, although the university says some tests may come from students and staff elsewhere.
A report by the White House Task Force on the coronavirus, released this week, shows that Georgia is making steady improvements in curbing the spread of the disease, with declining rates of new confirmed cases. He emphasized stopping the outbreak in colleges, recommending that schools in Georgia step up tests and call on students exposed to the disease to quarantine on campus rather than in their hometowns.
The university on Tuesday announced it was increasing its free testing for students and staff who have no obvious symptoms of the disease from 360 tests. up to 450 on weekdays. Health experts say many asymptomatic people have unknowingly contracted COVID-1
9 and shared it with others.
Many students and staff have criticized the university for opening it in the fall semester and continue to push UGA to move to online classes for the rest of the semester. UGA reported 1,171 positive cases in the last three weeks of August, twice as many as any college or university in the state. According to published reports, few American universities have had more cases registered.
Take a lookUGA to increase asymptomatic testing of COVID-19
In recent weeks, other parents and students have emailed government officials encouraging the university to remain open and praising campus administrators for the way schools have operated since the fall semester, which began nearly three weeks ago.
In Georgia, the schools with the highest number of positive cases are universities with a large number of students living in campus housing and participating in fraternities and community organizations. UGA numbers are moving in the opposite direction at some universities, such as Georgia College and Georgia Tech, which had a high number of cases in August but lower amounts in the last week.
UGA employees report 99% of the most recent cases involving students. The UGA intergovernmental council fined a fraternity $ 5,000 for violating the council’s rules requiring masks and social distancing during outdoor activities, and for indoor alcohol, university officials told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.
August 20, 2020 Athens – Students make their way as the University of Georgia begins lessons for the fall semester on Thursday, August 20, 2020 (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
On Wednesday, the University of Georgia System, which manages operations at UGA and the other 25 state colleges and universities, issued a statement encouraging local law enforcement to implement public health measures off-campus, including restrictions on student fees. A spokesman for the Athens-Clark district police said on Wednesday that the department was actively implementing regulations to reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially in bars and restaurants in the city center.
University President Jere Morehead issued a statement Wednesday reiterating his thoughts last week on the increase in positive cases.
“I would like to remind students again of their important responsibility to follow the rules designed to protect the health of our campus and our local community: wear your masks, keep your distance from others, make sensible decisions and stay away from social institutions where distance is appropriate. impossible to maintain, “Morehead said.” Each of us must make sensible decisions in the coming days and weeks so that we can reverse the trajectory, as we have seen in other institutions in the state. “
Staff writer Greg Bluestein and the Associated Press contributed to this report.