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As University of Georgia students prepared to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, reported cases of COVID-19 had dropped to a near-record low across campus and the positivity rate for asymptomatic testing stands at 0%.

ATHENS – As University of Georgia students prepared to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, reported cases of COVID-19 had dropped to a near-record low across campus and the positivity rate for asymptomatic testing stands at 0%.

A total of 23 cases were reported for the week of Nov. 15-21, a decline of six cases from the previous week. This week’s figure marks a 95.5% decrease from the peak of cases reported around Labor Day.

And for the first time since the university began testing for COVID, no asymptomatic individuals tested positive for the virus. A total of 599 asymptomatic individuals were tested during the week.

Of the 23 cases reported to DawgCheck, 16 were students and seven were staff members. No faculty members reported positive cases.

The overall number of cases at UGA reflects declining trends in the local community and across the state of Georgia.

“As the end of the fall semester approaches, we continue to be encouraged by the low number of COVID-19 cases across campus, but we must remain vigilant,” Jen Swails, interim executive director of the University Health Center and co-chair of the university’s Medical Oversight Task Force, said in a news release. “We greatly appreciate the ongoing efforts of our students, faculty and staff to combat this pandemic, and we continue to stress the importance of both COVID-19 vaccinations and testing to protect our campus community.”

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

The UGA College of Public Health, in partnership with the UHC, will continue to offer pop-up COVID-19 testing at the Tate Center ahead of winter break. Walk-up testing will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 8 and Dec. 20. No appointments are necessary for these services.

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 also are 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 30,600 vaccines to members of the UGA community. The university continues to offer free T-shirts for vaccinations, while supplies last.

In addition to COVID-19 vaccines, the UHC also is offering the flu vaccine with no appointment necessary for all students, faculty and staff from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Flu shots are available to UGA students, student spouses, current faculty and staff and their dependents (13 years and older) and retired faculty. A flu shot is free for those who bring a UGA ID and current insurance card. A flu shot will cost $50 for those who are uninsured.

As it did last year, UGA is maintaining a stock of rooms on and off campus to accommodate isolation and quarantine housing, as needed. At present, 1% of the housing stock is in use. The UGA community consists of nearly 50,000 students, faculty and staff.

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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